Caley Thistle manager John Robertson hopes his side’s abject second-half showing at Elgin City will serve as a wake-up call.
Goals from Brian Cameron and Jamie Reid secured a 2-0 win for the League 2 side.
It was only a friendly but Robertson is not prepared to accept this level of performance from his players.
He said: “In the first half I thought we were fine. We were in control of the game, not under any pressure whatsoever and had a couple of chances. I was reasonably pleased apart from us not being sharp enough around the edge of the box.
“Performances like the one in the second half, that’s what got us relegated last year. There was no willingness, desire or hunger to get on the ball or work hard enough.
“Elgin epitomised that in the second half as they were terrific. Their hunger and desire to win the game was the difference. The first goal we conceded after giving away two free headers in the box, while the second was a goal of the season contender. Elgin thoroughly deserved their victory.
“I’ve said to the players it’s as well happening this week and I hope the warning bells are ringing. Pre-season is about fitness and organisation but we want to win games and our second-half display was embarrassing.
“If we think we can just stroll about out we’re in for a rude awakening as we’ll be facing good and experienced teams who are well organised and athletic and we have to be able to match that.
“Elgin City’s performance has shown some players exactly where they are at and I can only congratulate Jim Weir and his team on their performance.”
Former Falkirk and Swansea forward Darryl Duffy featured as a trialist for Inverness, who were the better side in the first half.
Jake Mulraney had a shot saved by City goalkeeper Marc Waters before Ross Draper hit the post from 12 yards following a Liam Polworth pass, but there was no breakthrough before the interval.
City were much improved in the second half and their pressure paid off when they opened the scoring through Cameron’s fine header.
The Black and Whites were vibrant and energetic and scored a spectacular second when Reid beat Mark Ridgers with a terrific curling shot from 20 yards.
The display delighted City assistant manager Gavin Price, who said: “I don’t think we had any failures. We don’t read too much into pre-season results but we certainly can’t be disappointed with the level of performance and our second half was decent.
“We’re pleased with how things are shaping up.”
Trialists Ross McKinnon and Cammy Eadie impressed in defence for City, who hope to sign both players before this weekend.