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Nathan Austin urges Caley Thistle not to get careless in Ayr play-off tie

Nathan Austin in action for Inverness.
Nathan Austin in action for Inverness.

Caley Thistle forward Nathan Austin is refusing to take his side’s strong record against Ayr United for granted in this week’s Premiership play-off quarter-final tie.

After clinching third place in the Championship with Saturday’s 1-0 win at home to Dunfermline, Inverness will take on Ayr at Somerset Park tomorrow night before hosting the Honest Men in Saturday’s second leg.

The winner will face Dundee United over two legs, with either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies lying in wait in the final.

Caley Jags have enjoyed an excellent record against Ian McCall’s men this season, with three victories and a draw, but Austin insists the slate is wiped clean ahead of the two-legged tie.

Austin said: “It’s like a cup final. I don’t think what has happened during the season can count.
“I have been in the play-offs before at Falkirk. We beat Dundee United comfortably during the season, but it came to the play-offs and they managed to beat us. It’s just your form on the day.”

Austin netted the only goal of the game in just his 13th start of the campaign against the Pars on Saturday, and the former Falkirk attacker hopes his best form is still ahead of him.

Caley Thistle attacker Nathan Austin is out of contract in the summer.

Austin added: “It’s a kind of catch-22 situation. You want to play as many games as you can so you can get your sharpness, and sometimes that’s when you get your best fitness.

“My legs are a bit fresher than some of the boys, so hopefully if I’m not starting or I’m coming on I can help the boys. Hopefully I can push on and grab a couple of crucial goals in the play-offs.”

Austin is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with League 1 side Airdrie among other clubs, but the 25-year-old remains open-minded about his future, adding: “I’m just focusing on the game at hand. Because my contract is up I have had other clubs contact me, but I have said I don’t really want to do anything.

“Inverness have contacted me about a new contract as well, but it’s just a case of getting the season finished and having a think about it.”

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