Ross County: John Hughes out to prove critics wrong after ending ‘long time’ out of dugout – BBC News

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John Hughes

John Hughes says a return to management has been “a long time” coming and aims to prove his critics wrong after taking charge of Ross County.

The 56-year-old’s last, three-month spell at Raith Rovers in 2017 ended in relegation from Scotland’s second tier.

Hughes replaces Stuart Kettlewell, who was sacked on Saturday after County’s 2-0 defeat by Hamilton Academical.

“You wouldn’t believe how much desire I have to try to bring success and prove one or two people wrong,” he said.

“It’s not going to be easy, I’ve not got a magic wand, it’s all hands on deck, everybody together, one for all and all for one.”

Hughes believes “people are writing us off” as he looks to lift the Dingwall side off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, where they are now four points adrift of Saturday’s opponents.

“I have been in that position and the most important thing is to show courage,” he told County’s YouTube channel. “You can feel sorry for yourself and, in many many ways, it’s about mentality, so I have asked them to show real, strong mental character and give me everything they have got.

“It’s me trying to ignite them and saying ‘this is what I want’ and I have to make it simple for them. It’s small steps.”

Hughes’ first game in charge will be Wednesday’s to face reigning champions Celtic in Glasgow, where they had a shock League Cup quarter-final win that has been followed by four straight defeats.

The former Falkirk, Hibernian, Livingston and Hartlepool United manager enjoyed a previous spell in the Highlands in charge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with whom he lifted the Scottish Cup in 2015.

“First and foremost, I will always be grateful to Inverness for giving me that opportunity and I had a wonderful two-and-a-half years and good success,” he said. “Hopefully we can bring that same success to here, but I have always had a great rapport with the chairman and the people at Ross County.

“I have enjoyed my time off, living the life as they say, seeing the kids growing up. That was a big, big part of me leaving Inverness. Now they are at an age where I need to get out, so I am absolutely delighted to get this opportunity.”

Announcing the appointment, County said: “John is a well-distinguished and well-known figure within the game and has very valuable experience in the Scottish Premiership.”

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