ERIK Cikos insists Ross County fancy their chances against Caley Thistle tomorrow (Friday) – because they have the players to impress against the top six sides.
The 25-year-old full-back has played eight times for the Staggies since arriving on loan in February from Slovan Bratislava, helping them move out of the relegation play-off spot in the Scottish Premiership.
A 1-0 win against St Johnstone was followed by an unfortunate 2-1 loss at Motherwell before successive 1-1 draws against second-placed Aberdeen then, on Saturday, away to newly-crowned champions Celtic.
One of Inverness CT’s best performances this season was their late February 3-0 win against County in Dingwall.
However, Cikos believes their North rivals won’t have it so easy this time.
He said: "We have been very happy with our form recently. We play better against the teams from the top half of the table because they try to play football and that’s good for us.
"We have good players who can counter-attack. If you play against, for example, Partick Thistle or St Mirren, they try to counter-attack against us and that doesn’t suit our game.
"I remember Inverness had three or four shots on goal and scored three times. I am sure this will be a different kind of match. We are looking forward to it. We will have to fight, but also enjoy the game because we have good form now and are getting better each week."
Melvin de Leeuw’s goal helped County to a 1-1 draw with three-in-a-row winners Celtic at the weekend.
Kris Commons cancelled out the Dutchman’s opener, but Graham Carey almost won it for the Dingwall side.
Cikos was delighted with the team’s display, but added: "I was a little bit unhappy with the result because I felt we could have won. We worked very hard, but of course Celtic are a big club and they kept possession well. I thought it was a good performance from us and we defended well and that was important."
Cikos explained that he’s enjoying the experience in the North of Scotland, but can’t yet say whether his stay could become permanent.
He said: "I am in the area and the club. The people have made me feel welcome. It’s a nice atmosphere. I am enjoying my football training. I don’t know whether I will stay longer than the end of the season. I am just looking at match after match. All I can say is that I love the club and am enjoying it.
"Compared to the Slovakian league, this league has a higher tempo. It is physically demanding and I have to perhaps put some weight on to help, but I am enjoying it."
A derby win for County would put them six points ahead of St Mirren, who host Motherwell on Saturday.
The defender, though, insists they are not looking over their shoulders.
He said: "We are not looking at St Mirren, only what we are doing. The manager has said that we want to finish seventh – that is our target and we are remaining positive about our remaining games."