Striker Shane Sutherland wants Caley Thistle to hit the heights in Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie against Morton – then land a shot a big gun.
The Inverness side, whose 2-1 victory at Queen of the South on Friday ended a mini-slump of five winless matches and means they are just one point behind Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers at the top of the Championship.
This weekend, they host Morton from the same division, a side joint-bottom of the table, but who gave Raith a run for their money in a 2-1 league loss at Kirkcaldy on Saturday.
🏆 📺 Saturday's Scottish Cup tie against Morton is available on PPV from https://t.co/8eSzkdu4Vr for £10
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) November 22, 2021
The Caley Jags beat Gus MacPherson’s side 2-0 at the Caledonian Stadium in October, but the Greenock men bagged a 1-0 win in the Highlands in March as they battled to stay in the second tier.
ICT eager to go deep in Scottish Cup
Striker Sutherland returned from almost a month out with injury to help the team to three points at Dumfries on Friday.
He insists the 2015 Scottish Cup winners are taking nothing for granted against Morton and stressed only maximum effort can earn them a potential lucrative tie in round four.
He said: “We want to go on a cup run and the manager has already spoken to us about that.
“It’s a chance for us to try and reach the next round and hopefully get a draw against one of the bigger teams, ideally Celtic or Rangers and we can then see how far we are from their level in the Premiership.
Third Round week is here 🙌#ScottishCup
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) November 22, 2021
“Last season in the cup, we beat Ross County and held our own against St Mirren when we were unlucky to get beat. It will be good to get the chance to do that again, but we have to have 100 per cent focus against Morton and work extremely hard again this week.
“This is in some way a free shot for Morton to come and maybe be a wee bit more open than they would be in the Championship. If three points were on the line, they might come up and settle for a draw, but they beat us up here in March, so they’re a threat.
“You just need to look at our league game at Hamilton as another warning. They were struggling near the bottom when we played them and they beat us because we were not 100 per cent at it, although we did have chances and made mistakes for their goals.
“Even if you look at our SPFL Trust Trophy tie at Elgin, that was difficult. We had to come back from 2-0 down to win that. Any team we face in Scotland will be right up for the challenge and we need to be ready for that.
“People might expect us to win because we’re flying high in the Championship and Morton are struggling a bit, but we know we need to be fully at it.
“As a squad, we have a good togetherness and we know if we keep working hard for 90 minutes we can come through any tough spells and we should have enough.”
Vital to build upon Palmerston win
Sutherland, who has three goals so far this season, was picked out by Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston as a key figure in the Inverness team after the game last week.
The 31-year-old now feels it’s vital the team add to that victory at Palmerston, with Raith Rovers in the SPFL Trust Trophy visiting on Tuesday then Killie up for the league crunch game next Friday.
The former Elgin City hitman, now in his second spell at Inverness, added: “Having got that win on Friday, it is important we build on that.
“We want to get back to how we were at the start of the season when we seen games through, even when we were not playing at our best. We were getting 1-0 wins.
“If we can win on Saturday and then win against Raith next Tuesday then we’d be on a winning run of three games. Right now, our focus is on Morton, nothing else.”