Hughes praises work ethic as Inverness top table

INVERNESS manager John Hughes praised his players for their approach and application of his methods after running out comfortable 2-0 winners against Motherwell at Fir Park.

Greg Tansey strikes the ball past Dan Twardzik late in the first half to put Inverness ahead. Picture: SNS

Goals late in either half by Greg Tansey and Aaron Doran barely reflected the dominance that Inverness enjoyed over their hosts, but it was enough to seal victory and send them to the top of the SPFL Premiership.

“I can’t speak highly enough of these boys, they’ve had a great buy-in to our philosophy and the way we want to go about our business,” said Hughes.

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“We work very hard on the training pitch, we try to stimulate them in terms of training sessions, and I really believe that when you’re doing that there’s an education side to it and I think that was evident in the first half, the way we were rotating and moving positions.

“The bottom line is, though; it goes for nothing if you’re not winning.

“We played just as well here in the second half last year against Motherwell and they won 2-0, so it’s when you get the result that everybody’s happy.”

Hughes admits that he would like to add to his small squad, but is happy to go with what he has should he not be able to boost the numbers in his party.

“I recognised what was in that dressing room,” Hughes said.

“You work with the guys you’ve got and I saw enough quality and spirit in that dressing room – and technical ability – for me to think ‘these boys are not bad’.

“There’s one or two that are sitting on the bench like Liam Polworth, who has come on and just killed the game for us, a beautiful footballer. Nick Ross came on, technically one of the best players at the club. So we’ve got plenty there.

“I would say though that we’re still a small squad and I’d like to bring one or two in, but I don’t know if that will be the case.

“We’ll just work with what we’ve got and get on with it and try to make these guys better individually and collectively, and say to them ‘this could be the time of your life, enjoy it’.”

Hughes also offered some words of condolence for beaten counterpart Stuart McCall.

“Motherwell will be there or there­abouts,” Hughes insisted.

“I felt they were the better team in the second half, especially in the first 20 minutes.

“They’ve got three or four big players out injured, and if we finish ahead of Motherwell we’ll be doing well, that’s for sure.”

The words may provide cold comfort to McCall, though, who was deeply disappointed with his players’ showing.

“It’s a sore one to take at the minute because we’re really disappointed in the level of performance,” said McCall.

“But we have had that in the past and we’ve bounced back and we’ve got to make sure we are able to do that again. We’ve got to learn from today in a lot of areas.

“Their passing and movement showed us up today, they were excellent on the ball, and even with 20 minutes to go when it looked as though we might have a little surge they defended really strongly and didn’t give us a sniff.

“So fair credit to John and his team, but we’ve got to do better, we know that.”