John Hughes: Stokes is example of transfer record

Anthony Stokes: Signed by John Hughes for Falkirk and Hibernian. Picture: SNS
Anthony Stokes: Signed by John Hughes for Falkirk and Hibernian. Picture: SNS
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JOHN Hughes will give his new Caley Thistle squad every chance to prove he doesn’t need new signings in the January transfer window.

The Caley Thistle manager used his first press conference yesterday to emphasise his belief in the team currently thriving on three domestic fronts. Hughes, who did talk up his own track record of gleaning affordable gems like Anthony Stokes and Kasper Schmeichel from the British market, will be a happy man if he can keep his new chairman’s cheque-book shut in the coming weeks.

Hughes said: “One thing I noticed in that Inverness dressing-room when I walked in and spoke to them was there are no egos. They all muck in. They’re all a family. And that’s what brings success.

“I have to be very careful that whatever I do, any decision I make at this club, is done for the right reason and I’m bringing the right people and right character to the football club. But I don’t want to bring in any players right at this moment. I hopefully don’t need to bring anyone in. It’s a case of ‘carry on’.

“There are players who are not in the team who will want to show me they can get into the team. The players in the team will want to stay there. Let’s just carry on. Use every tool you’ve got as a manager to make sure you’re picking up three points.”

In the longer-term, Hughes has faith in his ability to maintain the inflow of talent to the northerly, modestly budgeted outfit, just as Butcher did so effectively.

He said: “Will I still look to that English market? Well, there’s a similarity [between me and Butcher]. You’ll look at any market. But look at the success I’ve had with bringing English players up to Scotland and also the likes of Anthony Stokes as a young lad from Arsenal.

“There’s an eye for it, certainly. But you only do it successfully if you do your work properly and I pride myself on being a hard worker.

“You have to be sure bring the right kind of player and character into the dressing-room.”