Caley Thistle manager John Robertson believes the pressure on Hearts to win the Championship title will ensure they are not distracted by next month’s Scottish Cup final.
The Jambos defeated Edinburgh rivals Hibernian 2-1 at Hampden Park last weekend, to set up a final against Celtic at the national stadium on December 20.
Although Robertson says it will be an occasion for Robbie Neilson’s men to relish, he feels his former club’s need to regain top-flight status will ensure they don’t take their eye off the ball.
Robertson said: “They’ve got a side packed with internationals and experienced players.
“They will not get carried away. It was a great night for Robbie and for the players to reach a cup final, they will be looking forward to that, but they will switch off from that now.
“They know it’s not until the 20th of December, so they will switch back on to getting things right in the league, because that’s their bread and butter this year.
⚽ A first goal of the season for Daniel MacKay on Saturday! pic.twitter.com/oChZqpPmvb
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) November 4, 2020
“That’s what they need, they have to get up. That’s the pressure that they’ve got to live with this season – they’re expected to win every game and every point and they’re expected to win this league comfortably.
“As Arbroath did a couple of weeks ago, we’ve got to go down and show them that’s not going to be the case. I’m sure they will be switched on and ready for it, and we’ll be the same.”
Inverness will make the trip to Tynecastle for the second time this season, having narrowly lost 1-0 in a Betfred Cup tie last month courtesy of a Jamie Walker penalty which was controversially awarded for handball against Cameron Harper.
Robertson felt there were promising aspects to build on as he seeks a better result this time around, adding: “We said to the players after that match that the performance itself was excellent.
“You have to ride your luck, Hearts were going to have the majority of the possession and they might even have the majority of the chances, but we felt that with the limited access to the ball that we had, we created more than enough chances.
“That in itself are the positives that we have shown the players, we have shown them those clips, what we did to create those chances and also shown them how well we defended.
“We’ve got to go down there with a gameplan that we feel is right for us to express ourselves when we have the ball, but as in any game when the opposition have spells on top we have to be brave and stand up to them and defend well as a team to create a platform to go and attack.
“There are a lot of good things we can take from the performance in the League Cup, but we still lost. That’s what hurts.
“We want to go and address that and bring something back from Tynecastle.”
Robertson hopes to have James Vincent, Aaron Doran and Shane Sutherland among his substitutes for today’s game, although he insists they are still a long way short of match sharpness.
Robertson added: “James Vincent has trained a couple of days this week, Aaron Doran has trained all week and played for an hour in a bounce game on Tuesday night, and Shane Sutherland has trained all week.
“But these guys are still miles off it. We’re hopeful that those three lads will make the bench, they may or may not get a little run out depending on how the game goes.
“Certainly in the two cup matches we’re fairly confident of getting them playing again to boost their fitness and allow us to have more options for selection.”