Caley Thistle manager John Robertson has challenged his side to grind out victories in the way Ross County have shown this season.
Inverness were dominant for much of Saturday’s Highland derby, however with the game locked at a goal apiece it was the Staggies who triumphed 2-1 courtesy of attacker Ross Stewart’s late header.
While a victory would have seen them close the gap on leaders County, the cruel result leaves fourth placed Inverness 13 points adrift of the Staggies at the halfway stage of their campaign, albeit with a game in hand.
Robertson has taken note of the Staggies’ ability to win scrappily, and he says his side must do likewise if they are to keep any late Championship title challenge alive.
Robertson said: “We were the better team by a country mile, but they have got the points.
“We’ve got to find a way of winning games in the way County do.
“They won against us, they won late on against Alloa, and they have had a few late goals to turn these draws into victories.
“They do what teams who win leagues do, they hung in there and produced one good cross and an outstanding header to win the match.
“What we have said to our players is it’s a really harsh lesson. They need to take the feeling they had on Saturday and use it in our upcoming games to make sure we get right up that table.”
Inverness’ defeat was only their second in the league this season, and a 13th since Robertson returned for a second spell at Caledonian Stadium in 2017.
The Caley Jags boss insists his players have never been as low following the loss in Dingwall, and he hopes the deflation can provoke a response.
He added: “I have never seen them so down. In terms of performance we couldn’t have asked for more – they were magnificent.
“I don’t think Ross County will have as many attempts against them all season. It could very nearly have been double figures for us – if somebody had told me we were going to play half as good as that we would have been delighted.
“Our fans were magnificent and they will have been the same as ourselves, thinking that even drawing would have been an absolute travesty.
“To actually lose the game shows you how unpredictable, cruel and clinical football can be at times.”