Caley Thistle manager John Hughes claims a strong finish to the Premiership campaign can make a difference to his plans for next season.
Inverness’ 3-1 victory against Kilmarnock last week all but ended the possibility of being dragged into the relegation play-off position occupied by the Ayrshire side.
The Highlanders are eighth in the table, a point adrift of Dundee but two points ahead of today’s opponents Partick Thistle, with Hamilton Accies two points further behind in 10th.
Should Inverness finish seventh, they stand to pocket £158,000 more in prize money than they would if they were to finish 10th.
Caley Jags have just eight players signed up for next season, with midfielder Liam Polworth the latest to commit his future to the club on a three-year deal, while there are contract offers on the table for several others.
Hughes reckons his side’s finish to the campaign will affect the quality of signing he is able to make in the summer and he said: “To give everyone clarity and make it simple, if we had a good budget, in terms of finance, we would keep everyone.
“But we need to spin plates. There’s one or two hanging on, and if we knew where we were going to finish and there was extra money coming into the budget, we could have an answer for these guys.
“The first place we would look would be in our dressing-room. That’s what the guys are playing for.
“Even if we decided to sign another three or four players, and we do finish seventh and there is extra money coming into the pot, then the money could be spent on a couple of better quality players.
“There’s a real frustration to it and I feel for the players. But no matter what decision we make, we’ll do it in the best interests of the club to keep trying to move it forward.”
Hughes is determined to kick on from last weekend’s fine result against Killie this afternoon, and added: “We’re in good spirits after the result last week.
“We’ve drawn twice against Partick and lost once, so hopefully we can go and put that right and get the victory.
“Over the last few games we’ve been playing with confidence, so hopefully that will be the case.
“The focus has to be on trying to win every game from now until the end of the season.
“We’re capable of doing that and, although people might have their flip-flops on and be ready for the beach, we need to keep our focus.
“We want to accumulate as many points as we can and hopefully finish in that seventh spot.”