Caley Thistle forward Edward Ofere says the pressure of securing third place in the Premiership is helping keep his mind away from this month’s Scottish Cup final against Falkirk.
Although Inverness reached the final of the competition of the first time with last month’s 3-2 win against Celtic, Caley Jags’ league form has stuttered, with no wins from their last eight games.
Despite the dip, John Hughes’ men have not dropped from third place in the Premiership, although today’s opponents St Johnstone have moved to within just four points of the Highlanders.
Consolidating their current position would secure European football at Caledonian Stadium for the first time, and Nigerian attacker Ofere is determined not to let Inverness’ league campaign end in disappointment prior to their Hampden showpiece.
Ofere said: “It has been great with us reaching the Scottish Cup final but we’re trying to put that aside and focus on the league.
“It’s a full month to the cup final and there are important matches before then. It’s back to normality. We will think about the cup again when the time is right.
“There might be a situation now where, to qualify for Europe, we have to be in the top three. We need to give ourselves the best possible chance whichever way it goes.
“If we can finish in the top three, that would be a brilliant achievement. We’re trying to do that.
“It’s time to start picking up points because we have let a good few points that we should have picked up slip away. That’s our goal and, hopefully, we will do that in the remaining games.
“We are still playing to our potential but we just have to dig deeper and keep pushing. Hopefully, then, the good results will come.”
Ofere joined Caley Jags on a free transfer in February, after being released by Norwegian side Sogndal, and is currently on a fine streak of three goals from as many games.
The 29-year-old wants to keep his run going throughout the rest of the campaign, starting with today’s trip to Perth.
Ofere added: “I’m pleased with my form. Scoring the first goal in my debut against Motherwell gave me the momentum and it was good to add to that.
“It’s down to the team and the way they are backing me up. When I’m scoring, it can’t be more exciting than that. I’ll just keep working hard and look to score more.
“My best spell was 10 goals in 20 games when I played at Malmo in Sweden. If I can keep up the momentum in the final games this season, maybe it could be another good run for me.”