John Robertson has stressed that his Inverness side are in the William Hill Scottish Cup to win it after their dramatic last-gasp 2-1 quarter-final win over Dundee United at Tannadice.
After Joe Chalmers’ wonderful strike in the 19th minute for the visitors was cancelled out by Nicky Clark’s 68th minute penalty, the tie looked to be heading for a replay.
However, a minute into added time, defender Brad McKay’s long throw was flicked on by striker Jordan White and midfielder Aaron Doran nipped in to head the Highlanders into the last-four for the first time since 2015 when they won the competition under John Hughes.
Inverness join treble-chasing Celtic, Rangers or Aberdeen, who will replay after drawing 1-1 at Pittodrie earlier in the day, and the winners of the Partick Thistle versus Hearts tie in Monday night’s draw.
Robertson, in his second spell as boss of the Highland club, insists his side, sitting fifth in the Ladbrokes Championship, are not there just to make up the numbers.
He said: “It’s fantastic. It’s been quite a lucky competition for Inverness.
“That’s my fourth season in charge and my third semi-final, all as a Championship club.
“It’s wonderful and it’s great for the fans. It’s been a tough, tough time for us and this is massive for us. The rewards for getting through are huge.
“I’ve been saying from the very first round we’re in this cup to win it and we will shortly be one of four who can do that.
“Even the United boys were saying that we deserved the win. It would have been a travesty if we had to go to a replay.
“We got what we deserved today – we kept going when we could have taken a draw.
“But we kept pushing for it and going for it and showed a desire to win the game. There was a belief and we got our rewards.”
United boss Robbie Neilson insists his side simply have to get back on track against Partick Thistle next week as they bid to get back to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Taysiders are five points behind leaders Ross County having played a game more.
Neilson said: “Never mind the replay, I know it was the last couple of minutes but we were the team that was creating the chances and other than the direct ball, slip or knock down, they weren’t creating a lot.
“It was an opportunity to get to Hampden but we have to take it on the chin. The only way to move forward is to win next Saturday.
“The league has been the priority but getting as far as we can in the cup was important to us, the momentum, giving the fans something back and we didn’t do that today. That was the biggest disappointment.
“We can sit here and talk about doing this or that but ultimately the only way we can move forward is by winning next Saturday at Partick.”