Wallace Duffy is adamant Inverness will have “no fear” of Kilmarnock as they know from recent experience they have the beating of their Scottish Cup quarter-final opponents.
Caley Thistle are sixth in the cinch Championship after what the defender describes as an “inconsistent” league campaign so far, while Killie are battling against relegation from the Premiership.
The two teams meet in the Highlands in a televised showdown on Friday night and Duffy is heartened by how his side got on against the Ayrshire outfit when they were both in the second tier last season.
“I don’t think there’s a massive gulf,” he said. “We’re not playing at our best but last year we showed we can be challenging to be in the Premiership (when they lost the play-off final to St Johnstone).
“Killie were in our league last year and we beat them three times out of four so I don’t think there’s anything to fear, especially at home. We’ve had a few good results in 2023, including the Livingston game, so the boys are definitely confident going into this one.”
Duffy feels Inverness can also draw encouragement from their 3-0 win away to top-flight Livingston in the last round as they bid to ensure another trip to Hampden for a club associated with some memorable moments in the Scottish Cup in recent decades, most notably when they won it in 2015.
He said: “I’ve only been here a couple of years but I know all about the cup runs Inverness have had: the Scottish Cup win, they got beat in the League Cup final (in 2014) and they reached the Scottish Cup semi-final a few years ago (in 2019).
“There’s clearly something in the air that helps Inverness so hopefully we can continue that.
“We were fortunate to get through in the cup (after fourth-round opponents Queen’s Park were thrown out for fielding an ineligible player) but we took advantage of that by going to Livi and playing one of our best games of the season, and since then we’ve just kept kicking on.
“If we can go to Livi and win 3-0, I don’t see why we should fear anyone else.”
Inverness, who were badly hit by injuries earlier in the season, are at full strength for Friday’s match.