Marcus Fraser insists St Mirren are refusing to dream of a Hampden return just yet.
With Rangers and Celtic squaring off in Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round clash at Ibrox, the rest of the teams in the competition know there is a place in the final up for grabs.
Saints would dearly love to be the team who claims it after this season’s Betfred Cup semi-final disappointment against Livingston.
But right-back Fraser knows if his side look past last-16 opponents Inverness they are likely to fall flat again before they even reach the slopes of Mount Florida.
“Everyone talks about the fact there is a final slot up for grabs because Celtic and Rangers are meeting this round – but you need to make sure you get there first,” he said.
“Our next game is against Inverness so we don’t want to be disrespectful to them and talk about a quarter-final or a semi.
“We just need to go beat what’s in front of us. If we do that, it gives us a chance.
“Of course we’ll be favourites going into the game, especially at home. But we know how hard it’s going to be.
“The manager stressed that to us the other day. We need to be on top of our game to get through to the next round – but it’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure.
“Going into a cup competition, you have to have that fight within you as we know we’re only three games away from getting to a cup final.
“We know we need to be on it because if we’re not, a good team like Inverness can win.
“The heads need to be screwed on but I’m not sure if the disappointment of the League Cup comes into it too much.
“This is another cup competition that we want to go as far in as we can.”
Fraser signed a one-year deal when he made the move from Ross County to Paisley last summer and boss Jim Goodwin says talks on extending his stint with the Buddies are “going well”.
But Fraser knows his negotiating powers will only be further enhanced if he can finish the campaign strongly.
He said: “I’m in talks with the club right now but that’s really just where it is.
“Other than that I’m just really hoping to play as many games as I can until the end of the season.
“Thankfully the manager has selected me to play in quite a lot of the games this season. If I can keep playing well and stay in the team that’s all that I can do.
“Listen, I’ve loved my time here and it’s been brilliant. Thankfully I’ve played lots of games.
“That’s where my frame of mind is at. I just want to play well from now until the end of the season. Hopefully we can get a few wins and a decent cup run along the way.
“If we can do that it will be a positive for me. Whatever then happens with me and the club, I’m sure it will be taken care of soon.”
Striker Jon Obika (groin) is a doubt for Friday’s clash with Caley Thistle while midfielder Ryan Flynn has joined Collin Quaner and Eamonn Brophy on the treatment table after picking up a hamstring strain which could rule him out for up to a month
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