John Hughes ‘should be in the running for the Celtic job’

John Hughes guided Inverness CT to Scottish Cup glory last season. Picture: John Devlin
John Hughes guided Inverness CT to Scottish Cup glory last season. Picture: John Devlin
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John Collins reckons Inverness risk losing a boss good enough to manage Celtic if they do not give his friend John Hughes more backing.

According to a report in the Daily Record on Wednesday, the Caley Thistle boss is ready to walk away from the Highland outfit following a row over his budget for next season.

Hughes watched with despair on Tuesday as Aberdeen announced they had tempted away Inverness’ top scorer Miles Storey.

The striker netted 13 times last season while on loan from Swindon and Hughes had been desperate to tie him down on a permanent deal following the expiry of his Robins deal this summer.

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Departing Celtic assistant boss Collins is not only one of Hughes’ fiercest allies, but one of his biggest fans and believes the job he has done with Inverness should have made his old Hoops team-mate a candidate to replace Ronny Deila at Parkhead.

Speaking at a William Hill media event ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup final between Rangers and his old side Hibernian, Collins said: “The first thing I will say is John Hughes has done an unbelievable job at Inverness. He took on a team that was a long-ball team, played no football and very quickly moulded them into a total football team.

“They got to the League Cup final in his first season and lost on penalty kicks against Aberdeen. That was a great achievement. In the second season they beat us (Celtic) in the semi-final and won the Scottish Cup.

“On top of that he has sold players and made players better.

“How his name hasn’t been mentioned for the Celtic job I don’t know. What he has done with average players, no support, no training ground, no sports science, no video analysis is incredible. If Inverness lose John Hughes then it will be a huge loss to them.

“It’s not about big profile names, it’s about what you do with teams. Do you make players better? Do you make teams better? Do you play a brand of football that is entertaining? John Hughes ticks all those boxes.

“John will be disappointed he’s lost one of his top players in Miles Storey but he lost them last season with the likes of Graeme Shinnie, Billy McKay, Ryan Christie and Marley Watkins all moving on. But he finds players, moulds them into his system and builds teams. He will do it again.

“We all understand that Inverness have a small budget but the chairman has got to try and support him because, and I’ll say it again, he’s done an unbelievable job for the club.”

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