Aaron Doran insists Caley Thistle only have to look at the history books for inspiration as they seek to close a 10-point gap on Championship leaders Dundee United.
In John Robertson’s first spell in charge of the club, the Highlanders looked dead and buried before storming back through a 10-game unbeaten run to pip Clyde on the final day.
Then, in 2009-10 under Terry Butcher, they overturned a 15-point chasm on Dundee to seal a top-flight return and take the title with two games to spare.
Doran, who arrived at the club the following year from Blackburn Rovers, insists talk of United sailing into the sunset and leaving all others in their wake is premature.
The 28-year-old Irishman, fresh from netting a winner against Dundee in Saturday’s revitalising victory, said: “I think the last time the club got promoted they were a good few points behind Dundee.
“I’m told it was similar in the gaffer’s first spell here when they reached the SPL for the first time. They went on a winning run in both those campaigns and we can do it, too – we just need to get our heads down and train well, like we have been.
“We could have scored a few more out there against Dundee, but it is just good to get the win on the board and we look forward to next week now.
“I know it will be tough. Dundee United are a big club and they’ve spent money but if we play our stuff and every player puts in performances like we did today, it will be a lot closer than it is now.”
Doran admits the players were stung by recent criticisms and determined to prove their mettle after losing three and drawing one of their previous five league matches.
He said: “The past few results in the league weren’t good enough, so to come away with a result like that is brilliant for the team and for the club.
“It was great defending from the lads. You saw some last-ditch tackles from guys like Coll Donaldson and a tremendous clearance off the line by Carl Tremarco. Other than that, I don’t think they broke us down too much.”
Doran’s 16th-minute winner was a cracker from the tightest of angles after a cross from David Carson. He said: “David showed a lot of desire to get to the ball to send the cross in.
“He’s been brilliant and presses like mad – he’s a little terrier.”