John Hughes has urged his Caley Thistle players to go into the lions den with belief and show no fear when they face champions Celtic at Parkhead tomorrow.
The Hoops beat Inverness 5-0 when the sides last met in March and a repeat of that result will all but end the Highlanders top-three hopes this weekend.
Hughes concedes Neil Lennon’s Hoops are the best in the country by some way but insists his players cannot allow history to be a factor tomorrow.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it as it is a massive challenge against the team which is miles out in front of the rest of us.
“We are going to have to do a lot better than we did last time at a venue which should inspire players.
“We cannot go there with any trepidation, we must show belief in our own ability. Celtic Park is a daunting arena but we have strong characters and we will have to show that by being strong on Sunday.”
Former Celtic defender Hughes has been hugely impressed by current Hoops stalwart Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the Celtic defence, while the attacking prowess of Lennon’s side is equally impressive.
He said: “Neil Lennon has an absolute Rolls Royce of a player in Virgil van Dijk, while Anthony Stokes, Kris Commons and Leigh Griffifths all have goals in them.
“They showed that at Motherwell and we are going to have to deal with that firepower.”
Captain Richie Foran is the only absentee as he recovers from knee surgery.