Billy Dodds praised Inverness for making the most of their Scottish Cup “luck” to book their place in the quarter-finals with a shock 3-0 win over Livingston.
Caley Thistle were handed a reprieve following defeat to Queen’s Park in the last round after their Championship rivals were found to have played the ineligible Euan Henderson.
But Dodds has revealed he urged his players not to be satisfied with still being in the tournament as they produced a stunning display of counter-attacking football to knock their cinch Premiership hosts out.
The Inverness manager said: “I felt a lot of people would think that, ‘oh well, you stand aside now you’re lucky to be there’.
“No chance! You get so much bad luck in this game so any good luck you take and you capitalise on it and I said that to my players before the game.
“I thought we did. It’s the players’ best performance since I’ve been here.
“We’ve had some big results – I go back to Arbroath, beating Livingston here earlier in the season.
“But for an all-round performance, from start to finish, we did that and showed the ruthless side.
“I’m delighted we’re through and we’ll see what we get.”
Veteran striker Billy Mckay was Inverness’ match-winner with a double either side of a Sean Welsh header.
Dodds added: “Billy has been a goal-scorer and I think there is so much more to his game, and I’ve told him that and his all-round play was exceptional.
“It is about the team but when you get two goals like that, you have to speak about them and they were two unbelievable finishes.
“I know he is capable of that but I thought his all-round play, all action – I thought he was brilliant today.”
Livingston counterpart David Martindale insisted the loss was unacceptable and claimed he would shoulder any blame for the defeat.
He said: “I need to have a look at the squad, the players and how I set the team up.
“I need to look at the selection and the players have to take their part in it.
“But ultimately, the buck stops with me.
“This was a huge opportunity for us and I shouldn’t have to talk about losing 3-0 at home here.
“I wouldn’t expect that to happen to us against most Premiership teams so I don’t expect that to happen in the cup against anyone.
“I deserve criticism for that because it’s me who put those boys on the park.”