Caley Thistle defender Robbie Deas says the Highlanders cannot allow themselves to dream of another Scottish Cup run until they have negotiated the early rounds of the competition.
Inverness enter the cup in today’s second round tie against Buckie Thistle at Victoria Park, which will be subject to a morning pitch inspection.
The Highlanders have enjoyed tremendous success in the tournament, winning it in 2015 under John Hughes, with John Robertson guiding them to the semi finals and the last eight in the last two seasons.
Deas, who joined from Celtic in the summer, insists Inverness can only earn the right to plot another cup run by professionally taking care of today’s Highland League opponents.
Deas said: “Every game should be looked upon as a cup final. These rounds can be forgotten about when the bigger ties come along, but every game is big.
“Caley Thistle have had a good record and tradition in the Scottish Cup, winning the trophy, and I want to help us continue that while I’m here.
“It is a cup final for these teams, but every game should be treated that way by us as well.
“We are definitely not just going to be able walk over the top of them easily.
“We’re going to have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.”
Despite coming up against unfamiliar opposition, Deas is prepared for what to expect against the Jags.
He added: “I wouldn’t say it is a step into the unknown for me, personally, as I played in the Scottish Cup the past two seasons at Cowdenbeath and then at Brora two years ago.
“I’ve also played Highland League opposition in pre-season.
“There are lots of top, experienced and talented players who play in the Highland League and even the Lowland League, down where I’m from.
“I know that because I know people who play in these leagues and you can’t take it for granted against them at all.
“In a way, it will be a cup final for them, playing against a full-time Championship side and it will be difficult. But it is a game where we should stand up and fully expect to go and win the game.”
Deas has already enjoyed some good Scottish Cup moments during loan stints with Cowdenbeath and Alloa, and he hopes to create new memories with the Caley Jags.
The 20-year-old added: “At Cowdenbeath, in my first year we got Rangers. It was quite an experience because I was only 18 at the time.
“I scored my first professional goal in the Scottish Cup, against Clyde. It is a special cup.
“Last season, I got put out by Inverness when I was at Alloa.
“It was a good, tough game and we got beat 3-2.
“It’s a special trophy to win and obviously the club has done it before. The expectation will always be there, especially with the team doing well last year as the last Championship club in the competition.”