CALEY Thistle boss John Robertson insists the Highlanders must progress from the Betfred Cup group stages to net vitals funds for his threadbare Championship squad.
Since replacing Richie Foran in the Inverness hot-seat, he has brought in seven new faces "for the price of two or three".
They are – goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, defenders Riccardo Calder, Matty Elsdon and Collin Seedorf, wide midfielder Zac Albouzedi and striker George Oakley and John Baird.
He’s hoping to add another striker to his pool, while defender Joe Chalmers is in line for a contract.
However, with more new players needed for the side relegated from the Premiership in May, every penny earned in cups will be welcome.
They kick off against Brechin City in Group A on Saturday and their other games are against Falkirk (home) on Saturday, July 22, and Forfar Athletic (away) on Saturday, July 29.
Robertson stressed that getting far in this competition, known previously as the League Cup, is vital on two fronts.
He explained: " We are not in a position where we can use this competition for glorified friendlies. We have to qualify from the group to go as far as we can but also secure much-needed revenue for the club.
"As a manager, you settle for the victory first and foremost. Then you want to win the game with a really good performance if you can. In these League Cup sections, it’s about winning the matches. Also, these four matches will let us know exactly where we are ahead of our first league game against Dundee United on August 5."
And it’s Darren Dods, who Robertson signed for ICT when he took them into the Premier League 2004, who manages Brechin, who will also be their opponents four times in the Championship following their 11th-hour promotion surge via the play-offs.
Robertson said: "Darren was one of my signings in the Premier League and he is a big, honest lad. He did everything simple as a player and he’s done the same with his team. He gets the best he can from them. He has a system that he prefers and he sticks to that and they work very hard.
"Brechin did terrifically well last season. They hung in there and were in and out of the play-off position, had the good run to seal that then had the terrific final against Alloa, which went all the way to penalties. They will be a good addition to the Championship this season.
"Darren will want to come up here and put on a good show. He became an iconic figure over the years. We have got to be ready. Ideally, we’d have liked another 10 days to two weeks before this game, but we’ll go out and try to win the tie."