Caley Thistle midfielder James Vincent believes today’s opponents Dunfermline share the same designs on promotion to the top-flight as the Highlanders.
Inverness open their Championship campaign with today’s trip to East End Park, where Vincent previously spent 18 months on loan from Dundee.
The Englishman is well aware of the expectations levels of the Pars, who he expects to be among Caley Jags’ biggest threats to their own hopes of challenging for a Premiership place.
Vincent said: “I think if you look at past achievements and the stature of the club they probably should be in the Premiership. When I went there myself, the aim was to get promotion. It will be no different for them this time.
“They have obviously had new investment coming in which brings pressure to do well, but they will be no different from ourselves. They will be looking for promotion.
“I think it’s an attractive club, so fair play to them for getting the investment.
“That brings expectation, so the pressure is on them. We will quietly go about our business and try and do our speaking on the park.”
Inverness had been second in the Championship when last season was cut short due to coronavirus, denying John Robertson’s men a tilt at the promotion play-offs.
Caley Jags’ hopes of earning promotion were ended during the summer when league reconstruction talks to expand the Premiership to 14 teams broke down.
Vincent feels the rewards for promotion would be huge at a time of financial uncertainty, adding: “As with every other season, we have always strived to push ourselves and be competitive to get in a situation where we can earn promotion.
“Not just football, the world is in a situation where every penny will count now going forward. It’s going to be massively beneficial to any club that can do that.
“Fair play to the team that finishes top, they will have deserved it after the games have been played.
“After that it’s about the play-offs and putting yourselves in the best position. We felt hard done by last season that we didn’t get the opportunity to do that, so the aim will be the same again to try and gain on that.
“We were disappointed with the way everything happened, but it was out of our hands. It was nothing we could deal with. In terms of what we can do as a team and a club, we just need to try and put it right this season.
“If we do the right things and get the right results, hopefully that can help us compete at the top end.”
Vincent, who is in his second spell at Inverness, played in his first game since March when he started Wednesday’s Betfred Cup tie against Cowdenbeath.
The 31-year-old is eager to return to league action, adding: “I was over the moon. It’s something we have all missed – it was my first competitive game for over six months.
“It was really good for me. Personally it was about getting minutes in the legs and catching up, as I had missed out on just short of two weeks through injury.
“The manager put us through our paces early on, we got some good running in and from there we have got the balls out.
“Everyone has had such a delayed time off, but we were one of the later clubs to go back. The likes of Hearts went back earlier than us.
“That’s just the way it was, we did what was right for us. We would like to think we are getting everyone up to speed.”