Caley Thistle defender Jamie McCart feels keeping within reach of early Championship pacesetters Dundee United is vital to his side’s hopes of mounting a challenge.
United lead the way after taking maximum points from their opening four league matches, with Inverness a further five points adrift with a tally of seven for the campaign so far.
Although it is still early days, McCart feels the Highlanders cannot afford to allow Robbie Neilson’s men to run out of sight.
McCart said: “Dundee United have started well, they have taken off and it’s just about trying to keep in there just now.
“We want to at least keep on their tails now, and if we can keep performing they can maybe slip up.
“The manager says we are underdogs. We will just keep doing what we are doing and hopefully come the end of the season we will be right up there in the top-two.
“Everyone says we will be there or thereabouts for play-offs, but our aim is why not go for first or second?”
Inverness go into today’s trip to Dunfermline with three wins from their last four in all competitions, with the Highlanders maintaining their strong form after ringing the changes for last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Morton in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
Former Celtic player McCart feels Inverness have shown a stronger squad depth already this term, and he added: “We are full of confidence. The wee break in the cup last week followed two good wins against Arbroath and Morton, and a hard-fought draw away to Dundee.
“The team that played the second time against Morton was strong – it could play in this league.
“That’s something the manager has said, we didn’t have that strength in depth last year.
“That was a big plus for us, especially the way the two performances and results went for us.”
Caley Thistle recorded a win and a loss at East End Park last season, with a 3-0 triumph over the Pars last September followed by a 1-0 defeat in February, and McCart reckons the margins could be fine once again this afternoon.
“It’s a nice stadium down there, the pitch is always good, and it’s a big pitch which probably suits the way we like to play.
“We just need to keep the confidence going. Every away game is tough in this league, whether it’s the big ones or the ones that aren’t thought of as being so big.
“Every game is still difficult. I think a few times we have performed well against Dunfermline, especially away early last season when we had a good result.
“It’s hard to say. They had a decent start in the cup competition, especially a good performance away to Celtic.
“Everything changes when it comes into the league – especially this one. As we saw last year, if you don’t turn up on the day, anyone can beat you.”