Caley Thistle manager John Hughes is determined to succeed at the third attempt at trying to keep former Inverness favourite Billy Mckay quiet when he lines up for Dundee United today.
Forward Mckay has scored for the Tannadice club in both encounters against his former club this season, having made the move on loan from English League 1 side Wigan Athletic in the summer.
The Northern Irishman scored 62 goals in 141 appearances during his three-and-a-half year stint in the Highlands, prior to departing for the Latics in a £150,000 move last January.
Hughes is fully aware of Mckay’s threat and he says keeping out the 27-year-old, who has scored 13 times for United this season, will go a long way towards securing a victory.
Hughes said: “Billy is a top-class player. Having the right character gives you a winning mentality and values and he has that. He will always be a good footballer because he’s hungry.
“He never sits back and rests on his laurels. He’s scored twice against us this season, so, hopefully, we can keep him quiet on Saturday.”
Inverness need to win at Tannadice in order to keep their slim hopes of a top-six finish alive but Hughes expects a determined performance from Mixu Paatelainen’s men, who are five points adrift at the bottom of the league.
Hughes added: “It’s a must-win game. We are always playing for pride and the colours of the club but at this stage of the season there is more at stake.
“Dundee United are fighting for their lives and we have to win the match to have any chance at all of getting into the top six. It’s all to play for.
“We need to get back to winning ways and show people that what happened last year was done on merit and not luck.
“When it’s not in our own hands then we are right up against it. All we can do is win our match and that won’t be easy because United are a good side playing football with nothing to lose. We have to match that.”