Caley Thistle hat-trick star Billy Mckay aims to carry on scoring and drive the Highlanders back into the Championship promotion hunt.
Mckay’s goals, which included a first-half penalty, take him on to 89 Inverness goals, meaning only legendary striker Dennis Wyness’ tally of 101 is higher in the club’s record books.
With nine for the season now, Mckay is only looking ahead at fresh targets.
He said: “It was a good little top-up for me against Cove Rangers. I’ve just got to keep chipping away.
“I went a few games without a goal and had a little injury in between, so I’ve got to look to kick on now.
“The goalie (Stuart McKenzie) was questioning me at the end for the header for the first goal, but I definitely got a little nick on it.
“It was a good hat-trick to get. I had another couple of chances and hit the post early on.
“I’m happy when I’m getting chances because I know, most of the time, I’ll put them away.
“That’s when I’m at my happiest, when I’m getting goalscoring opportunities.
“If we keep creating chances, I believe I can score and I believe the other lads can chip in as well.”
Inverness must build upon victory
Defender Danny Devine was also on the scoresheet, with two own goals taking ICT to their 6-1 win after visitors Cove took the lead through Jack Sanders.
It was the ideal way to kick off 2023 after being on the end of a 5-1 thrashing by Partick Thistle just before Christmas.
Mckay insists Caley Thistle cannot allow Monday’s win to be a flash in the pan as they prepare to visit second-bottom Arbroath – who beat Dundee 4-2 on Monday to knock their local rivals off the summit – on Saturday.
The forward said: “It couldn’t have gone better, to be honest.
“Obviously after last week we needed to show a response – and it was the perfect response.
“But it is just the start now. We need to build on it.
“The first half of the year has not gone as we wanted it to, for different reasons, but we’ve got to kick on now and push up the league.
“It’s a great way to start the new year.”
Deliveries hailed by striker Mckay
Former Northern Irish international Mckay was delighted to have the service into the box provided by captain Sean Welsh and St Mirren loanee Jay Henderson, who only joined last week.
He said: “We had numerous chances. Sean Welsh put two on the plate, one for me and one for Danny.
“I thought the new boy Jay Henderson was brilliant on Monday with some of the balls he put in. It was fantastic.
“I know I’ve just got to be in the box now and I’ll try to get on the end of them.
“It is good to have players as dangerous as that and we’ve got to take that forward – and score more goals as a team.”
Confidence high for Gayfield clash
And Mckay is urging the Caley Jags to use their renewed confidence to ask questions of Arbroath this weekend as they aim for a second win this week.
He said: “If that shows us on low confidence, hopefully we can draw on it and really go down to Arbroath and take the game to them.
“We’ve got to make sure we match what we produced on Monday, and I believe we can do that – we believe we can beat anyone in the league.”