Inverness captain Richie Foran claims that clinching a top-six place is the prize at stake for both Caley Thistle and Highland rivals Ross County when they meet today.
The northern neighbours will go head to head for the fifth time this season, with each hoping to boost their respective chances of a top-half finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League for the first time.
But Irish forward Foran believes his side – unbeaten against County this season with two wins and a pair of draws, yet still a point behind their third-paced opponents – can come out on top at the Caledonian Stadium by extending their current four-game unbeaten streak in the SPL.
He said: “A top-six place is within touching distance. Another three points out of the next three games would probably confirm our place in the top half. But County are probably thinking the same.
“Reaching the top six is massive for Inverness. For the size of the club, the budget, everything that goes against us during the season, it would be a huge achievement.
“But it can definitely be done. If we keep doing what we are doing, keep being confident, we can get that three points.”
County’s Grant Munro is determined to end the wait for a win over Inverness – but admits the game could be a cagey affair, with their latest meeting in Dingwall just two weeks ago ending in a goalless draw.
Both sides now look set to battle for a European spot but, with seventh-placed Dundee United at home to bottom club Dundee tomorrow, Munro admits that both sides might be looking over their shoulder.
The 32-year-old, who scored a stunning volley in last weekend’s surprise 3-2 win over league leaders Celtic, said: “There have been some great games but we’ve lost a few of them which is not great, so it’s something we want to put right.
“But, with Inverness being at home, you would expect them to be favourites on their home patch.
“Every game both teams will be going out for the win with both teams having in the back of their minds that, if they lose the game, it will be a dent in their hopes of getting a top-six place.”
Meanwhile, Inverness manager Terry Butcher faces Scottish Football Association disciplinary action for smashing a hole in the away dugout at Dundee last week.
Butcher punched through the clear plastic in frustration at his team’s performance during their 1-1 draw at Dens Park.
He was yesterday issued with a notice of complaint from the SFA accusing him of misconduct, namely “failure to behave in a responsible manner as an occupant of the technical area by striking the canopy of the technical area, causing it to break”.
Butcher has until next Friday to respond to the complaint, with a hearing date set for Thursday, 11 April.