Ross Draper: Doubters won’t affect Caley Thistle fortunes

After winning the Scottish Cup and coming third in the Premiership last year it’s fair to say life is good at Caledonian Stadium.

But, after an indifferent start to the current campaign there have been plenty of pundits queuing up to write last season off as a one-hit wonder and claim Inverness are unlikely to repeat their cup success and likely to struggle in the league this year.

However, these comments will not affect the players, who are confident they can continue to build on their recent triumphs, according to Ross Draper.

The former Macclesfield Town man, who recently clocked up 100 appearances for the Jags, says Caley have been written off at every turn since he joined the club but it just adds to the desire in the squad.

“In my first season we reached a semi-final, where we lost to Hearts, and some said that was the best we’d ever do,” he told the Daily Record.

“The year after, we got to the League Cup Final and lost to Aberdeen – one step further – and it was, ‘Nah, they’ll never get to a cup final ever again. Then we went on to reach the final of the Scottish Cup last year and we won it.”

The 26-year-old midfielder explained that a basic target of going as far as possible in the cup and finishing as high as possible in the league means the players do not have to perform under a cloud of pressure.

“We’re used to it, so it’s fine. People will say we’ve had our time and that we’ll finish in the bottom six and get knocked out of the cups,” he added.

“It makes no difference to us as a squad or to the manager. People can say what they want and we’ll just crack on with it.”

Caley face Livingston away in the League Cup tonight and are 8/13 favourites to win on the road, while it’s 18/1 that John Hughes’ men can retain their Scottish Cup title.

The odds may be against them, but Draper, it seems, is happy for that to be the case.

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