Caley Thistle captain Graeme Shinnie reckons the outcome of tonight’s game against Dundee United will shape his side’s season.
Third-placed Inverness travel to Tannadice seven points clear of their opponents, with Saturday’s 3-3 draw against Kilmarnock stretching their unbeaten run to nine games.
Were the Caley Jags to maintain their current position until the end of the season they would qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their 21-year history and Shinnie believes John Hughes’ men can take a huge stride towards achieving that with a victory this evening.
Left-back Shinnie will leave in the summer having signed a pre-contract with Aberdeen but is determined to end his Caley Thistle career on a high.
Shinnie said: “It’s a game that will probably define where we finish. If we win, we’re 10 points clear which is a big margin at this time in the season. If they beat us, they’re straight back in it. We’ll just look to go there and do the best we can. Hopefully, we come away with three points.
“Although we were frustrated we didn’t win on Saturday, we’ve been very good since the start of the year. We now look forward to the Dundee United game and will look to do the business there. They lost on Saturday which meant we gained another point on them.”
Shinnie was disappointed his side squandered the opportunity to establish an even bigger lead over United with a victory on Saturday, having squandered the lead on three occasions against Killie.
However, the 23-year-old felt misfortune was his side’s undoing and has urged the Caley Jags to focus on the positives ahead of tonight’s encounter.
Shinnie added: “It was frustrating more than anything. We were frustrated because we lost three goals at home. But it was three freak goals. Maybe the third goal wasn’t but for the first one the ball hit the guy on the head and fell into his path, and the second one was a great free kick, but it hit the post and hit the goalkeeper and went in.
“Although we lost three goals there was nothing we could really do about them. Scoring three goals at home, we think we should be winning the game, so that’s the frustrating part.”
Despite commanding a clear advantage in third place, Shinnie reckons Inverness have not received the credit they have deserved. However, the Aberdeen-born defender is happy for his side to continue to drift under the radar.
He added: “We never really get plaudits and we’re not too bothered about that. We do our business and go along happily and we’ll continue to do that.”