Hughes named Inverness boss

  • Last Updated: December 4 2013, 17:22 GMT

John Hughes vowed to change nothing at Inverness after being appointed manager of a club which hit new highs under his predecessor Terry Butcher.

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The former Falkirk, Hibernian and Livingston boss takes over a team sitting second in the Scottish Premiership, with a League Cup semi-final against Hearts to look forward to as well as a fifth-round William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Clyde or Stranraer.

Caley Thistle are on a five-match winning streak ahead of their trip to St Mirren Park on Saturday.

Butcher and assistant Maurice Malpas built on last season's fourth-placed finish and the players proved their self motivation by winning three games since the former England captain told them he was moving to Hibs.So Hughes does not want to disrupt the momentum and vowed to help the players continue to express themselves.

The 49-year-old, who will observe as under-20s coach Duncan Shearer takes training over the next two days, said: "I met the players and you can tell speaking to them, looking in their eyes and doing a bit of homework on them, that there are some real good characters in that dressing room. And instantly you can feel the spirit."It's carry on regardless and letting these boys go and do their stuff.

"It's business as usual. I will be trying to do the best for my players to go out on the pitch and express themselves on Saturday. Keep that spirit, see if I can add to it and just keep the good work going. It will be difficult as Terry has done such a good job."

Hughes, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract, told a media conference: "If in a couple weeks' time the chairman or one of you guys asks a player how it is, and he says it is just business as usual, it just feels like there is being no change, then I have being doing my job. The transition has to be very, very smooth."

Hughes has been without a job since his contract was terminated at Hartlepool following a six-month spell in which he was unable to keep them in League One.Hughes had taken over with the club nine points from safety and won a manager of the month award for February after leading a revival that they could not sustain.

The former Hibs captain was also sacked by the Leith club just five months after leading them to a European place in his first season in charge.

But he is not one for looking back other than to use his experience to benefit his new club.

"I've not got a point to prove," he said."I'm delighted to be up here and I think my record speaks for itself. I feel I have had success and I want to bring success to Inverness.

"I'm in a real good part of the world and if I can be up here for four, six, eight years then that is success."

Hughes insists he is a better manager than the one that left Livingston just over a year ago following a short spell in West Lothian.

"I think you have to evolve as a manager," he said."Every club I have been at I have enjoyed the experience. That's what makes you the manager that you are and hopefully through all that experience, good and bad, I can bring that to Inverness and we get success."

Hughes made his name as a manager at Falkirk, leading them into the top flight and keeping them there for four years before leaving for Hibs after the 2009 Scottish Cup final defeat by Rangers."If you look at it, I have always had success at a club," he said.

"If you take Hartlepool, I had real good success. But that's the way football goes. I am old enough and experienced enough to roll with the punches."

Hughes is aware his appointment has not been acclaimed by the entire Caley Thistle support.

"That goes with it," said Hughes, who vowed to take his time over appointing an assistant, which could come from within the club.

"All I'm saying is they are getting a guy with experience and a guy who will immerse himself in the character and culture of Inverness, a guy who is prepared to work hard and hopefully bring success to Inverness."

The former Celtic, Hibs and Falkirk defender secured the position ahead of the likes of Alloa boss Paul Hartley and former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels and Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron stated he was the only candidate offered the job.

Cameron said: "Of all the people we interviewed, John came through as highly skilled, very passionate, he understands what the club is about and understands the community and basically he was the right fit for the job.

"When you are down at ninth, 10th or 11th you are looking for something and when you are in the higher echelons you are possibly looking for something different.

"I think in John we have weighed up what we are looking for and got the right man."

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