Caley Thistle manager John Robertson hopes he can turn history on its head by helping the Highlanders make a flying start to their Championship campaign.
Inverness begin the new league season away to Dundee United today, aiming to put the pain of last season’s play-off defeat behind them with a victory at Tannadice.
Robertson is one of just two managers to have steered Inverness to the Championship title, having guided the club to its first top-flight promotion in his first spell in charge in 2004, before Terry Butcher repeated the feat six years later after the club’s relegation.
Robertson is eager to ease the burden on his side at the business end of the campaign by hitting the ground running. He said: “Most managers here tend to have a slow start and a strong finish – that seems to be the Inverness way.
“What you have to do is try to get off to a flyer. We had a reasonable start last year, winning two and drawing one. You’d take that right away. It is all about building on it.
“The teams that have won it in recent years got good starts. Ross County and St Mirren the year before. The last time we won the league under Terry, it wasn’t a good start.
“It wasn’t until December they clicked and there was an unbelievable run to the finish line before they won the title at Ayr. There’s a million ways to win a Championship but one thing never changes – you need more points than everyone else.”
Although Robertson has placed a strong emphasis on starting strongly, he says consistency over the season is required. The manager, who has Kevin McHattie back in contention after he played in Wednesday’s 3-1 North of Scotland Cup victory over Lossiemouth, said: “It is like a golf major. There are four rounds of nine fixtures. In the first two rounds, you need to be in the hunt. The third day in a major is moving day and that’s the same as in our league. Games 18 to 27 is when you want to move into contention, ready for the title. The last nine games is like the last round of a major – you want to be right in there at the death.
“That’s the key. You can’t win the league in the first nine or 18 games, but you can certainly play yourself out of it. We want to be in the thick of the hunt.”