Scottish Cup success with Ross County would be ‘a dream come true’ – John Hughes

Ross County boss John Hughes preparing for Highland derby in cup
Ross County boss John Hughes preparing for Highland derby in cup (PA Wire)
11:21am, Wed 31 Mar 2021
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Ross County boss John Hughes entertained the notion of a Highland Scottish Cup double ahead of Friday’s third-round clash with former club Inverness.

The 56-year-old won the competition with Caley Thistle in 2015, beating Falkirk in the final to bring the trophy back to Inverness for the first time, while also guiding the club to a record third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership.

After leaving Inverness in 2016, Hughes had a spell at Raith Rovers before taking over at Ross County until the end of the season last December with a remit of keeping the Staggies in the top flight.

And as he geared up to host their Championship neighbours, the former Hibernian and Livingston boss was asked about the prospect of replicating his historic cup feat of six years ago with the Dingwall outfit.

Hughes said: “That would be a dream come true, eh?

“That was a remarkable time, I enjoyed it.

“I did with probably the lowest budget in the Premiership so it was a remarkable achievement.

“The biggest achievement, although we are talking about the Scottish Cup, was more the league, to finish third in the league which such limited resources is all credit to the boys.

“I was only guiding them, all the accolades goes to the players.

“I still look at the photographs now and then but wouldn’t it be great to do it with Ross County? That’s my goal.

“Looking back, good memories, but I am firmly a Staggies man now, my loyalties are with the Staggies, I have been well looked after since I came in here.

“I am really focused on this game with a real desire to go and get the job done and see where it takes us.”

Hughes, whose side are 10th in the Premiership, noted that Inverness recently signed Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan on loan for the rest of the season while claiming the pressure was on his side, “being the Premiership club”.

He said: “Scott Allan is a great signing, I wouldn’t mind that kind of player at my club. He is a good footballer who can see a pass.

“So it just shows you the ambition they have got so we have to be really at it to make sure we are in the hat for the next round.

“Inverness have nothing to lose. They are fighting for a play-off spot, we are fighting to stay in the league.

“They might see us looking a bit vulnerable. It will be their cup final but we have to embrace that and go and perform.

“But the players have been playing under the pressure of a relegation battle since I came to the club and we have had some great victories so hopefully that will be the case on Friday night.”

Asked if he would like to stay at County beyond the end of the season, Hughes said: “Yep, but all my focus is on one game at a time and working very hard.

“It is a right good football club, a community club.

“I am enjoying it but I have learned from experience not to look too far ahead and just take it  one game at a time and we will see.”

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