Ross County manager Jim McIntyre is refusing to be fooled by Caley Thistle’s lowly Premiership position ahead of today’s Highland derby at Victoria Park.
Inverness are bottom of the table and without a victory in their last nine games, since a 3-0 win against Motherwell in October.
County have the chance to create a seven-point lead over their rivals with a victory at Dingwall but McIntyre will not take Richie Foran’s men lightly.
He said: “They’re coming into the game bottom of the league with a point to prove.
“As we said with Partick Thistle, looking at Inverness games they’ve done a lot well in recent games and have just not been ruthless enough at the top end of the pitch.
“Before we went on our run we were a bit like that ourselves. It seems to be this season that every team is having a wee spell like that, not playing like a team at the bottom – creating plenty chances but just not getting that wee bit of luck or quality in front of goal.
“Every one of the teams have had that.
“Inverness have good players, so we know we have to do what we do well. If we don’t, they can hurt us.
“Obviously, when you’re not winning matches and you lose the first goal then that puts a big seed of doubt into a team. But they showed in their 2-1 loss against Motherwell on Wednesday when they fought back with efforts off the crossbar and a late goal there is a good spirit there. They certainly don’t give up on it when they go behind.”
County will be without midfielder Ian McShane after he picked up a groin strain in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by Celtic but defender Kenny van der Weg returns from a two-match suspension.
McIntyre is determined to lead the Staggies to their first home Highland derby victory since a 1-0 success in May 2013 and he added: “It’s a Highland derby. They have a better record here and we have a better record in Inverness.
“We want to make sure we’re changing that.”