Ross County boss Jim McIntyre admitted to relief at breaking his Highland derby duck last night as the Dingwall club booked a first League Cup semi-final.
McIntyre claimed his first managerial triumph over County’s near-neighbours at the fifth time of asking. The Staggies hadn’t made an impact in the knock-outs since storming through to the 2010 Scottish Cup final against Dundee United.
McIntyre said: “I’m thrilled. It’s been a long time coming. In four attempts we hadn’t won. It’s nice to get that monkey off our back and some of our play was fantastic – we should have scored more goals.
“But while the score is at 2-0, it can become nervous and that’s the way the game panned out.
“We controlled most of it. We had some real good opportunities to kill the game but unfortunately for us we never took them. It is a sign of progress for the club. It has been a long time since the day out at Hampden and the record in the cup since then hasn’t been great.
“We’ve got to a semi-final now, so we’re all delighted. But we forget about it now. It’s one game at a time.”
A disconsolate John Hughes, who has seen his Inverness team win just twice at home this season, blamed a lack of cutting edge.
Hughes said: “I felt for long periods of the first half we controlled the game – but once again we need to create more chances.
“I’m disappointed with the first goal from a set piece and then the second goal killed us. It gave us a mountain to climb”.