No doubt in Vincent's mind that promotion is target for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Championship
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James Vincent is in no doubt that Inverness Caledonian Thistle are targeting promotion this season.
The Caley Jags kick off their Championship campaign away at Dunfermline Athletic this afternoon knowing that other teams have been fancied for the title above them.
With the likes of Hearts and Dundee bringing in marquee signings, much of the attention has been on those sides – although the likes of Ayr United and Dunfermline themselves have also invested wisely ahead of a push for promotion.
In many ways, Caley Thistle have gone under the radar, something that will most likely suit the Highlanders, but English midfielder Vincent insists they will show why they deserve to be in that same conversation.
"We have worked hard in the off-season and during pre-season to get geared up for this," he explained.
“As with every other season, we have always strived to push ourselves and be competitive to get in a situation where we can earn promotion.
“Not just football, the world is in a situation where every penny will count now going forward. It’s going to be massively beneficial to any club that can do that – fair play to the team that finishes top, they will have deserved it after the games have been played.
"Every time I have played in this league it has always been hard, there are no easy games.
“We know we have got a management staff that will put us in good stead for the following game, and give us the best chance to compete.
“The likes of Hearts have a massive budget and a massive squad, and they probably will continue to strengthen throughout the season, so we know they are going to be competitive.
“It’s just about us focusing on ourselves, as we always have done. We quietly go about our business and try to do our talking on the park, and if we carry on the way we have done in previous seasons, I think we will be there or thereabouts."
As a former Dunfermline player, Vincent is well aware that there will be high expectations at East End Park this season.
Inverness travel there today with a good recent record against the Pars though, so it will be an interesting battle on the opening day.
It has been eight years since Dunfermline were in the top flight, but after bringing in Scotland internationals and plenty of Championship experience Vincent suspects that will only add to the pressure heaped on them in 2020/21.
“We know they are going to be a threat, and right up for it," he reasoned.
“They have had a good pre-season with some good results, so it’s about us being on our A game and making sure we are good to compete and do our business.
“I think if you look at past achievements and the stature of the club they probably should be in the Premiership. When I went there myself, the aim was to get promotion and it will be no different for them this time.
“They have obviously had new investment coming in which brings pressure to do well for themselves, but they will be no different from ourselves in looking for promotion.
“That brings expectation, so the pressure is on them. We will quietly go about our business and try and do our speaking on the park."
With the rebuilding job at Caley Thistle this summer, Vincent finds himself as one of the elder statesmen of the team at 31 years old.
His experience in the middle of the park alongside new club captain Sean Welsh will be invaluable in guiding the youngsters all around them to what Vincent hopes will be a successful campaign.
That slight change in his responsibilities is not lost on the Englishman either, as it is something he has talked to manager John Robertson about.
“The manager has touched on it in pre-season already," Vincent admitted.
"There are a couple of us who are more senior players, and he has told us it’s our time to lead.
“We need to look after the younger boys, help them out and try to bring them on as much as we can.
“We have got some really good young players at the club that are going to be fantastic, so it’s about us trying to get an arm around them to help them out when we can, but doing the best we can for the team and trying to get those results.”