Published: 23/01/2013 21:00 - Updated: 23/01/2013 21:00

Meekings eyes Hampden date for Butcher

JOSH Meekings insists Caley Thistle are not fazed by facing Hearts in Edinburgh - because they feel they can still end up at Hampden.

Inverness CT head to Hibernian's Easter Road ground on Saturday to tackle the Jambos in the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Although the tie is taking place in Hearts' home city, the Caley Jags are in confident mood, having lost just once in 21 games and riding high in second spot in the Clydesdale Bank SPL.

Having twice drawn with Hearts this season, including coming back from two down at Tynecastle, Meekings believes they can get the win to take them into the club's first League Cup final.

He told the HN: "We'll be ready for it. We're not worried that it's in Edinburgh. We'll treat it as another away game. We know that we have what it takes to beat Hearts.

"Whether we are favourites or not, I don't know. We are up there in the league, but a cup game is completely different. It's up to us to get the win and I feel we can do that if we perform like we can.

"This is a massive game for me. I am going to approach it like any other, but hopefully I will start and we can reach the final."

Celtic or St Mirren, who play on Sunday, will be the opposition for the winners at Leith.

Last year, Kilmarnock shocked Celtic at Hampden to lift the cup and now Meekings wants a taste of that.

He said: "The final is where we want to be - that's our aim, but it's all down to us going out and proving we deserve to be there."

Meekings, who was signed by Butcher from Ipswich Town in 2011, says that keeping their manager after snubbing advances from English Championship strugglers Barnsley this month was a huge lift.

He stated: "The manager staying was massive for us. We want to keep everyone at the club. The fact he wanted to remain here was great news. We need to get results for him to show he was right to stay.

"He's a massive name and he's the reason I came here. He's given me the opportunity to play in the SPL. Hopefully, we can get to the final for him."

Last weekend in the SPL, ICT swept past Aberdeen 3-0, with a Billy McKay double and a sublime strike from Andrew Shinnie seeing off the Dons in the second half.

Looking back, Meekings, who returned to the team following a groin injury, said: "We needed to make a good start to the New Year after the two-week break. In the second half, it was just a matter of time before the goals arrived.

"I have really enjoyed this season so far and it's up to us to keep it going. It's all there for us and we want to grab it with both hands. If we keep performing like this, there's no reason why we can't succeed."

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