Billy Dodds insists Inverness can fantasise about a Scottish Cup “miracle” after a sensational 3-0 victory at Livingston booked a quarter-final berth.
But the Caley Thistle manager admits he is also eyeing the windfall of a lucrative meeting with Premiership opposition.
The Highlanders are one of three Championship sides still in the competition after Billy Mckay’s superb second-half double either side of a Sean Welsh header stunned Livingston.
They will join Raith Rovers and Ayr United in Monday’s draw, while the winners of the tie between Falkirk and Darvel will also book a last-eight place.
Dodds knows being paired with any of those opponents would give his side a great chance to claim a semi-final spot, but the former Scotland striker also accepts a “big pay-day” may be better for the club.
He said: “It’s one of those ones where, you’ve got to be honest, you think there’s a couple of clubs where you might progress – but you might get knocked out.
“Or do you take the finance? Because we’re a club that needs money.
“I’m happy with any draw, to be honest, because it’s either going to get us money or we’re going to have a wee chance of going through.
“We run a tight budget, we run a tight ship, we run the club well, which is hard at times.
“We could do with a big pay-day, it would be beneficial to the club. But, also, I want to try and see where we go.
“Miracles have happened before. I’m not saying we’re going to win the cup, but you see what’s happened in football before – you always dream, don’t you?
“So, you’ve got the dream – but I think I want the money first.”
Inverness produced a magnificent display of counter-attacking football to put Livi to the sword in a remarkable second half.
The top-flight hosts failed to make the most of their dominance of possession and Caley Thistle struck five minutes after the break.
Mckay expertly chested down a ball over the top from Jay Henderson before firing a brilliant shot into the top corner.
The visitors doubled their lead just 11 minutes later when Welsh’s header found the net via the post from Nathan Shaw’s cross.
With just 10 minutes remaining, the tie was put beyond doubt when Inverness nicked the ball back high up the pitch and Mckay angled another tremendous effort into the top corner for his eighth goal in seven games and his 14th of the season.
It was a bitter blow for Livi, who are riding high in fourth in the Premiership table but turned in a strangely flat performance.
Manager David Martindale issued an apology to the home fans and admitted both he and his players need to accept the blame for the defeat.
But he added: “I don’t want to sit and say how bad Livingston were because I’ve been the underdog before and when you win it’s all about how poor the favourites were.
“We weren’t at the races and didn’t deserve to take anything from the game but do you know what? Inverness did – they took their chances and were the better team on the day.”