Caley Thistle captain Graeme Shinnie is frustrated his club could not push the Dons closer for second place in the Premiership, but reckons finishing third would be a significant achievement.
Shinnie, has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Dons, and will join his hometown club on a three-year contract at the end of the season.
The defender has put all his focus on trying to secure third place for Inverness, which would bring European football to Caledonian Stadium for the first time.
The 23-year-old will also lead his side out at the Scottish Cup final against Falkirk at Hampden Park on May 30, as Caley Jags try to win their first major silverware.
Tuesday’s 2-1 victory against Dundee United ended a run of nine league matches without a win, moving them seven points clear of the Tangerines in third with just three league games remaining.
Despite the recent slump, Shinnie reckons the 15-point gap between the Highlanders and second-placed Aberdeen will not take the shine off an excellent league campaign should they consolidate their current position.
Shinnie said: “If we had kept our form going, we might have been closer to Aberdeen. They’ve pulled miles away from us, which is a bit frustrating but, overall, if we can finish third it would be an excellent campaign.
“If I can leave here having finished third in the league and winning the Scottish Cup, it will be one of the best seasons the club has had – and maybe the best it could have for years to come.
“To finish third in the league is a tough ask and it takes a lot to get through the rounds to the Scottish Cup final.
“The players have done amazingly well to get to where we are, so it’s up to us now to really stamp our authority on the league games and in the cup final and with it make history.
“In the last couple of seasons we’ve been close to qualifying for European football and that has given us the drive and belief to go and achieve it.
“We’ve been so close towards the end of this season, but we’ve taken our foot off the gas a bit.”
Inverness will be assured of a club record third-placed finish if they defeat Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday, with Shinnie determined to put the issue beyond doubt.
Shinnie added: “Tuesday night was a massive game for us. We wanted to go down on Saturday and beat St Johnstone, but came away with a good point after drawing 1-1.
“Now we’ve beaten Dundee United we can move on to Dundee on Saturday and look to cement third place.
“Over the whole season we’ve probably deserved it, although our form hasn’t been great recently.
“But taking the campaign as a whole, I feel we deserve third and it’s up to us to go out and win on Saturday.”