Caley Thistle boss Duncan Ferguson cannot wait to get back to Hampden this Saturday – having scored there last time he faced Queen’s Park.
The Inverness manager takes his Championship side to the national stadium in Glasgow this Saturday.
It is eighth against seventh, with both sides locked on 13 points and with the chance to overtake Ayr United with a victory.
It’s also an opportunity for the ICT players to respond to their first set-back under Ferguson – last weekend’s late collapse to lose 2-1 at home to second-placed Raith Rovers.
Ferguson’s experience of Hampden as a player
As an Everton player, Ferguson scored in a 6-0 pre-season run-out against then-amateur Queen’s Park in July 2002, with ex-England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney bagging a hat-trick.
Having also experienced competitive football at Hampden during his playing career, and considering a return to the famous venue, ex-Dundee United and Rangers striker Ferguson said: “In a competitive match, my last game there was probably a cup final.
“But I played for Everton there in a pre-season game, but I have not been back in a competitive match since I was a baby!
“I am looking forward to going back to the national stadium.
“It’s a great facility – one we’re all proud of.
“I’m told our pitch (at Inverness) is the same size at Hampden.
“It will be good to get back to the national stadium, with its good facilities. It will be a good occasion.”
Ferguson – ‘We need to bounce back’
It will be a return also to Hampden for an Inverness team who lost the Scottish Cup final 3-1 against treble-winners Celtic in June.
Some of the newest recruits, such as on-loan Dundee midfielder Max Anderson and Charlie Gilmour, have yet to play at the national stadium in their careers.
Queen’s Park, meanwhile, are without a Championship victory since beating Arbroath 1-0 on August 19 – and have gone 10 successive fixtures in all competitions without a win.
They did, however, defeat Inverness 2-1 on the opening day of this season.
Being level on points alone with their rivals is warning enough for Caley Thistle, according to Ferguson.
He said: “Because we lost our last game, this is massive for us.
“Queen’s Park are a quality team, they are at home, and they are level on points with us in the league – so it will be tough.
“We need to bounce back and show a good reaction.
“I was pleased with our performance against Raith Rovers.
“The first half could have been better, but we were better in the second half.
“The players are giving me 100% and that’s all I can ask.”
A groin injury makes winger Nathan Shaw a doubt for Saturday, while David Carson is also set to sit this weekend out.