Caley Thistle manager John Robertson is hopeful his side’s momentum can counteract Dundee United’s freshness in tonight’s Premiership play-off semi final at Caledonian Stadium.
United, who finished second in the Championship, have not played since finishing their league campaign with a 1-0 loss at Morton on May 4. In the 10 days which have passed since, Inverness have played two legs of their quarter final against Ayr United, triumphing 4-2 on aggregate.
Robbie Neilson’s men marginally have the upper hand between the two sides this term, with two victories and two draws, with Inverness’ only triumph coming in their Scottish Cup quarter final at Tannadice in March.
Despite United having the opportunity to rest up, Robertson believes his side’s busy schedule can work in their favour, and the Caley Jags boss said: “It has been a mixed bag. They have had wins, we’ve had wins, and there have been a couple of draws in there as well.
“They can point to the fact they won the last time they were here, and rightly so, and we can point to the fact we won the last time down there.
“There’s nothing much in it.
“They have the benefit of rest, but we think momentum can help as well in a situation like this.
“United have had a few days off, me time as Robbie has put it.
“Sometimes that can mean players switch off, that’s what we need to look at.
“We had a terrific run last year, when we won seven and drew one of our last eight games.
“That’s what we said to the players when we went to Ayr – it could be the first of six matches.
“We have done it before, we have shown we are capable of doing it.
“We want to create a bit of history, by becoming the first team from third or fourth place in the play-offs to go all the way.”
Caley Thistle will be without winger Tom Walsh through a hamstring injury picked up in Saturday’s game against Ayr, while skipper Carl Tremarco remains sidelined with a calf problem. Brad Mckay will be assessed following an ankle injury.
Robertson knows the tie cannot be won or lost tonight, but he is determined to gain an advantage ahead of Friday’s return leg, adding: “It’s the first game of two. The aim is the same as when we went to Ayr United – to stay in the tie.
“It doesn’t matter if you are home or away, you need to stay in the tie and make sure there’s everything to play for in the second game.
“We would love to go with a lead down to Tannadice on Friday night, but we could be behind and still have the capabilities.
“The aim for us is to come out on top over two matches, and it’s the same for Dundee United.”