Caley Thistle manager John Robertson believes his side can produce another valiant end of season run to secure promotion to the Premiership.
Inverness play their final league match of the season at home to Dunfermline today, before commencing their play-off schedule against Ayr United next week in a run which could stretch to six games in three weeks if the Highlanders are to achieve promotion.
Caley Jags narrowly missed out on a top-four place last season, despite finishing the campaign with an excellent unbeaten run which saw them win seven of their final eight matches.
With a clear goal of a top-flight place in sight, Robertson feels his players are capable of another strong burst of form to join Highland rivals Ross County in the Premiership next term.
Robertson said: “Every year you want to improve, and we have improved on last year. We finished fifth, this year the worst we can finish is fourth but hopefully third.
“We still have a major chance of going up.
“When you look at the three teams in the play-off situation – ourselves, Ayr and Dundee United – it’s loaded in favour of the team that finishes second and also the team that finishes second bottom of the Premiership.
“Whilst you’ve got an opportunity, you’ve got to take it. We saw in the last month of last season we had to play eight games, which was a really punishing schedule, but we won seven and drew one of those.
“That’s the kind of form we are going to need now.
“We want the players to think about last year, and the last month when they had to play eight matches.
“This year if we go all the way it will be seven games. The team capable of doing it, they know that.
“We have to try and show that track record, consistency and performance that can see us win seven and draw one match in a month.”
Caley Thistle must better Ayr’s result in order to finish third, which would mean a £77,000 boost in prize money and also ensure home advantage over Ayr in the second leg of the play-off quarter final next Saturday.
Inverness have the best away record in the league this term but it is tempered by a poor home run which has seen them win just four league games at Caledonian Stadium, and Robertson is solely focused on maintaining momentum following last weekend’s 2-1 win at Alloa Athletic.
Robertson added: “You can swing it either way – it’s either great we’ve got a very good away record, but it’s not so great because we’ve not got a good home record.
“It’s swings and roundabouts, it’s however way you decide to spin it.
“That’s why we’re saying this game is important. If we can go into the play-offs with a home victory under our belts, it should give the lads the necessary encouragement that home or away, we are good enough to go all the way through the play-offs.”
Inverness remain without skipper Carl Tremarco through a calf injury.