Caley Thistle skipper Gary Warren is inspired by success of the past as he aims to add further to Inverness’ impressive cup pedigree by winning this season’s IRN-BRU Cup.
Inverness host Northern Irish side Crusaders on Sunday in the semi-finals of the competition, which is Caley Jags’ last realistic opportunity of landing silverware this season having fallen 24 points adrift of leaders St Mirren in the Championship.
Should Inverness progress, they would face either The New Saints or Dumbarton in the final on the weekend of March 24-25.
Englishman Warren is hoping for a third attempt at representing the Highlanders in a final, having been suspended for both the League Cup final loss to Aberdeen at Parkhead in 2014 as well as the following year’s Scottish Cup triumph over Falkirk.
Of John Hughes’ side that started against the Bairns at Hampden only goalkeeper Ryan Esson, defender Carl Tremarco and midfielder Aaron Doran are still at the club, while both Liam Polworth and Cammy Mackay were unused substitutes in the final.
Warren hopes his side can use the glory of just three years ago to spur them. He said: “Whenever you get to this stage of a competition you’re looking to go and win the cup.
“Only being 90 minutes away from the final gives us a great chance of doing that. We have had the advantage of being in the Scottish Cup final before.
“Although there are not too many players and members of staff at the club who are still here from that period of time, hopefully the guys that were there can use that as an advantage and help us get to the final. Looking at the short tenure the club has gone through, it is not too old.
“For us to win a Scottish Cup and be in League Cup finals, and in another semi-final now, it proves how well the players at the club have done, and how successful they have been in the short career path the club has been involved in.
“It’s the competition we’re looking to go and win, and hopefully we can bring back some silverware again for Inverness to add to the collection.”
The visit of Crusaders is a step out of the ordinary for John Robertson’s side, however Warren expects the Hatchetmen to be formidable opponents having gone five points clear at the top of the Northern Irish Premiership.
Warren hopes home advantage will be key in his side’s favour. The 33-year-old added: “They are going to be a tough side.
“They are experienced and they are proving it by where they are in the league – they are running away with their league.
“They will be full of confidence and they’ve got some good quality players in their side. We are at home and I like to think that will give us a good chance and a great opportunity to get to the final.
“Hopefully we can use that to our advantage this Sunday.”