Caley Thistle manager John Robertson is playing down the significance of today’s visit of Dundee in determining his side’s Championship promotion credentials.
Inverness go into today’s game having slipped a point behind the third-placed Dark Blues in the table, following a run of one win from their last five league matches.
Although both sides have fallen well adrift of runaway leaders Dundee United, Robertson feels the standings matter little until the business end of the campaign.
Robertson said: “It’s no more important than any other game.
“Nobody is major contenders at this point in the season – it’s as simple as that.
“It’s the same for Dundee and everybody else. We need to get as many points on the board going into the last nine games of the season.
“Then, teams become title contenders and the matches become very important as to where you are going to finish in the league.
“Up to 27 matches, we need to get as many points on the board as possible, knowing where we are going into the last nine matches of the season.
“The only time it becomes crucial is the last quarter, because that’s when teams have no time to recover from defeats or dropped points.
“It’s important we just rack up as many points as we can to get ourselves into a position where we’re going into the last quarter of the season knowing what’s required to get promotion.”
Inverness and Dundee have played out two tight encounters at Dens Park this season, with the Dark Blues triumphing 1-0 in a Betfred Cup group stage match in July, prior to a 0-0 draw on league duty the following month.
Robertson expects more of the same, adding: “There has been very little in both games. We had them in the League Cup, which they won through a defensive error.
“In the league game there was again very little in it, very few chances. Neither team probably deserved to win on the day.
“I don’t think it will be much different on Saturday. I think it will be another tight encounter.
“They have strengthened again, they have brought in the likes of Graham Dorrans who is a quality player.
“We have got good players in our team though.”
Winger Tom Walsh is sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Robertson says attacking midfielder Roddy MacGregor and right back Shaun Rooney are also struggling to recover.
Robertson added: “Roddy is still out with a broken thumb. He has a plaster on it, but unfortunately it’s too hard for him to play, he needs a softer one than that.
“Shaun is making good progress, but Saturday will probably come a little bit too early for him. He may be involved in the squad, but he’s certainly not ready to start.”