Caley Thistle attacker Nathan Austin feels history shows he can play a major role in helping to cement the Highlanders’ place in the Championship play-offs.
Austin netted six goals in the final six games of last term as Inverness narrowly missed out on a top-four place last term, having ended the previous campaign with six goals in the last 12 games of the season with today’s opponents Falkirk.
Although the England-born attacker has netted just once in the league so far this term, Austin is confident he can help Caley Jags finish the season with a flourish, with John Robertson’s men a point adrift of fourth-placed Queen of the South with a game in hand.
Austin said: “If you look at my career, I always seem to finish the season well. I know I can kick on and help the team.
“Last year, we were probably trying to reach a target that was just a tiny bit out of reach and beyond us, but this season we’re right there.
“If we can go on a run not even close to last season’s, we can be right in among it. But if we can match what we did from this time a year ago, we’ll be right at the top.
“That’s what a lot of the boys who were here last year are holding onto. We feel we have that within our capabilities.
“We have a lot to play for. Sometimes you’re stuck there without much to play for.
“As a football player, in those circumstances, you still go out to win every game but when you have the hunger to try and get into the play-offs at least, that’s a massive help.
“I think that will push us on.”
Today’s trip to second bottom Falkirk is the first of three games for Caley Jags this week, with Austin ready for the call if Robertson opts to shuffle his squad.
He added: “We’ve got Falkirk and then Ayr. Falkirk is not the best surface on the astroturf so a few players might pick up niggles. The team could change against Ayr on Tuesday.
“Everyone wants to play every game, but we’re all professionals and we know what’s asked of us. We’re happy where we are at the moment and hopefully we can kick on and move up the table.”
Although Austin only made the move from Falkirk to Caledonian Stadium 12 months ago, the 24-year-old will come up against a much-changed side from the one he left, adding: “Falkirk went through a massive transition and a manager is going to come in and want his own players.
“I think Paul Hartley came in and maybe wanted that a bit too quickly. Ray McKinnon seemed to do a better job in bringing in his own players and integrating them at the right time.
“It has been a massive January for them, bringing in a lot of new players and it will be hard for them to gel as quickly as the fans would like.
“But we’re not really worried about them. It is all about us. We’re going to go down there and try to get three points.”