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Caley Thistle defender Cameron Harper says play-off thoughts are on ice until after Hamilton clash

Caley Thistle defender Cameron Harper.
Caley Thistle defender Cameron Harper.

Defender Cameron Harper insists Caley Thistle will only focus on the play-offs once they have hopefully earned their first win of the season against Hamilton on Friday night.

It’s third v sixth in a final-night Championship tussle which will decide nothing.

However, with Partick Thistle most likely to be Inverness’ quarter-final opponents next Tuesday and Friday, Harper wants to add to their strong form.

Saturday’s 1-0 win at Morton, which ensured third spot, was ICT’s fifth victory in seven games and the 20-year-old is determined to round off their regular season with three points.

He said: “I would say we are approaching it the same as we have approached every other game this season – with the aim of winning it.

“Games are always enjoyable when you’re winning and we want to keep the momentum going. We are thinking about play-offs, that is the aim.

“We have prepared the exact same as we would for (previous)  games and look to win.”

Points matter to team against Accies

While the Hamilton match has been dubbed a meaningless game, Harper insists the players are not calling it that as they chase a victory.

He said: “Some people may think like that in terms of it being a dead rubber, but we have not thought like that.

“Training has been good and high intensity. We are looking to do the same on Friday and have a high intensity and hope to win.”

Cameron Harper, right, challenges Raith’s Ethan Ross of Raith Rovers.

Fourth-placed Partick have an eight-goal and three-point cushion over Raith Rovers ahead of their final fixtures against struggling Ayr United and champions Kilmarnock, respectively.

Harper cautiously expects Thistle, not Rovers, will be their quarter-final rivals next week.

He added: “Football is crazy, but that might be a bit too crazy for Raith to finish fourth, We won’t definitely know until after the game.

“However, we have not spoken about the play-off. We are training this week solely looking at Hamilton and focusing on that game.”

Squad targeting run of six matches to reach top-flight

Caley Thistle aim to buck the trend and come through all six games in order to reach the Premiership via the play-offs.

Full-back Harper is confident they can achieve something special against all the odds.

Cameron Harper challenges Queen of the South forward Ruben Soares Junior.

He said: “I don’t see why not. We are as good as anyone and I would fancy us against the teams that are down there in the Premiership.

“Nobody has done it before, but somebody has to do it the first time. Why can’t it be us?

“Six games is the plan. It is exciting and there is a real belief that we can do and fancy ourselves against any team.”

Relishing chance to see off Partick

Harper, who has 30 appearances to his name this term, is confident that, if Partick are their opponents from Tuesday, they can get the win required to line up a semi double-header against runners-up Arbroath.

He added: “In our previous games against Partick, we got good results and, even when we have not won the game, our performances have been good against them.

“We just have to concentrate on ourselves and do things right and get to the next round of the play-offs.”

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