INVERNESS showed their manager what he will be missing, if and when he quits the Highland club, as they ran out 2-0 winners at Easter Road.
Terry Butcher is expected to be named Hibs manager on Monday but his current employers made short work of the Edinburgh side, Nick Ross and Billy McKay scoring the first-half goals which sent them home with all three points in the bag.
The Highlanders were streets ahead of their managerless opponents, particularly in the first half.
But the big talking point was the fact that Butcher – who had been expected to stay away from the fixture as talks about him replacing Pat Fenlon in the manager’s hotseat continue - turned up before kick-off.
He was accompanied by his wife and Jim McArthur, who is believed to be brokering the deal, and was ushered inside the stadium to sit in the stand alongside Gary O’Hagan, Hibs director.
And, considering his position, the Caley manager might have had mixed emotions when the Highlanders were awarded a penalty kick with just 13 minutes gone after a foul on Graeme Shinnie.
Nick Ross stepped up to take it and he smashed the ball high into the net beyond Ben Williams, who was unlucky not to keep it out.
At that point the Jags fans chanted ‘Butcher, Butcher, what’s the score?’ and the home support responded with cries of ‘Terry Butcher’s green and white army’.
And it was two within the space of just a couple of minutes, this time Billy McKay – who has been in inspirational form for Caley this season – raced onto a pass from Shinnie and slotted into the net from a tight angle.
Caley were all over Hibs at this point and could have increased their lead significantly before there were even 25 minutes on the clock.
First a cross from the right for Aaron Doran, which was intended for McKay, was cut out by Alan Maybury.
But the Hibs defender could consider himself extremely lucky not to have an own goal to his name as his touch saw the ball bounce back off base of Williams’ left-hand post and along the goal-line into the arms of the keeper.
Then Shinnie came close, this time a run down the right and shot leaving Williams stranded, but his shot fizzed a matter of a couple of inches wide.
Hibs had a chance with just under half an hour gome, when Tom Taiwo picked out Scott Robertson to his right but the Easter Road player couldn’t keep his shot down and the ball blazed well over the crossbar.
Other than that Hibs, quite literally, offered nothing in the opening 45 minutes.
Hibs brought on Abdellah Zoubir and Rowan Vine at half-time, at the expense of Ryan McGivern and Taiwo and, while Hibs were beginning to at least string a few decent moves together, it was still Caley who posed the biggest threat.
Doran and McKay both came close again, the former trying his luck from distance, but Caley couldn’t add to their tally and the match wil certainly have given Butcher real food for thought for the weeks ahead.
Hibernian: Williams, McGivern, Hanlon, Robertson, Collins, Stevenson, Maybury, Taiwo, Forster, Heffernan, Thomson. Subs: Murdoch, Vine, Cairney, Tudur Jones, McPake, Zoubir, Cummings.
Inverness CT: Brill, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, McKay, Draper, Foran, Dorran, Ross, Watkins, Tremarco. Subs: Esson, Raven, Devine, Greenhalgh, Polwarth, Pepper, Agdestein.
Referee: Bobby Madden