Caley Thistle manager John Robertson has warned his players to expect the real Livingston to re-emerge for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup fifth round tie.
Inverness, who are second in the Championship, host a Lions side which suffered a 2-0 defeat to Ross County on Wednesday to end their five-match winning streak.
Livi’s form has catapulted them into fifth place in the top flight, making Gary Holt’s men favourites to claim a quarter-final berth.
Robertson insists tomorrow’s opponents will be eager to make their second trip to the Highlands in four days a more successful one.
He said: “We got to the semi-final last year through hard work, some great football and real fighting spirit.
“We’re going to need all of that and more this weekend against a very good Livingston side who are ripping up trees in the Premiership.
“We’ve watched them. On Saturday they were absolutely sensational and blew Motherwell away – that was the real Livingston.
“We saw them at Dingwall and Ross County matched them all the way. To play against them, it is like man-to-man combat.
“You have to go and match them, then try to play when you get the ball.
“They don’t make it easy for you. They press very high, they’re very energetic, very positive.
“They’ll be huge favourites coming here in a great vein of form, although they got beat on Wednesday.
“But if we play at our very best, we’re more than capable of getting a result.”
Livi have not looked back since winning promotion to the Premiership through the play-offs in 2018, having only come up from League 1 the previous campaign.
Robertson, who ended his playing career at Almondvale and also managed the West Lothian outfit between 2006 and 2007, is an admirer of the club’s success.
He added: “Some teams can get comfortable up there. That may have been the case for Inverness, having been in the Premiership for so long.
“They’d only been out for one season since winning promotion in 2004. You can get comfortable if you don’t continue to build and add to your structure.
“That’s where Livingston have done well. They’ve taken the old, grass pitch away, put in the new plastic one, and the infrastructure of the club is in a fine place.
“We talk about location and they have the perfect location, just outside Edinburgh, not far from Glasgow, not far from Fife, Ayrshire and the central belt.
“If you’re in the Premiership, you can attract good players and that’s what Livingston have done.
“They’ve done fantastically well. It is a club I know very well having been there as player and manager, and it is fantastic to see them doing so well in the league.”