Butcher backs John Hughes to keep Inverness high

John Hughes
John Hughes
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TERRY BUTCHER has backed new manager John Hughes to keep Inverness flying high in the Scottish Premiership.

Hughes, a former Hibs boss, was today set to be unveiled at the Caledonian Stadium today as successor to Butcher, who left the Highland hotseat for Easter Road last month.

The 49-year-old ex-Falkirk, Livingston and Hartlepool manager was something of a surprise appointment after beating off competition from the likes of Paul Hartley, Kenny Shiels, Paul Telfer and Csaba Laszlo. He takes over with the club second in the Premiership and with a League Cup semi-final against Hearts to look forward to in the new year.

Butcher said: “It is a great club for him. He is a big guy and should fit my chair well! There is a big chair waiting for him – no couches though.

“He is a lovely guy and I wish him well. It is a smashing club to take charge of. There are no problems, no pressure and it will tick along nicely because the dressing-room is really tight.”

Hughes is a former Falkirk, Hibs and Celtic player, and ex-Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels this week stated that managers who had previously played with the Old Firm were favoured by Scottish Premiership clubs.

Butcher, himself a former Rangers player, said: “It’s ages since Kenny has been in the paper or on the radio so he’s got to say something! I always thought it was your CV that got you a chance. I have had letters from Hibs fans saying it is what you do now and what you do as Hibs manager that matters. As a player, I can’t play. But, as a manager, I have gleaned experience from clubs and that’s where I am now.

“I think he went on about people recommending you and all that. I’ve had no-one recommend me. Bobby Robson has passed away, and no-one has recommended me for jobs in the past. I always thought it was your CV and, just the same as in business, your CV is the important thing. It is what you do and what you can do that is the most important thing.”

Hughes has been without a job since leaving Hartlepool at the end of last season. The Edinburgh-born boss failed to keep Pools in League One although he did take over when they were nine points adrift in November. Hughes had instigated a revival and secured the manager of the month award in February following a seven-match unbeaten run, but his side then failed to score in eight games and were relegated despite a four-game undefeated finish to the season.

Hughes began his managerial career with Falkirk, taking them up to the top flight and keeping them there for four seasons, his final game a 1-0 Scottish Cup final defeat by Rangers in 2009.

He led Hibs to a European place in 2010 in his only full season but was sacked in the October of that year after a poor run of results stretching back from the previous campaign.

Hughes will take on a side that has won five consecutive matches. His first game in charge will be at St Mirren Park on Saturday.