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New Ross County boss John Hughes full of admiration for St Mirren

Celtic v Ross County – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

New Ross County boss John Hughes believes the Staggies should aspire to be like Boxing Day opponents St Mirren.

Hughes took over the Premiership’s bottom side on Monday following the dismissal of Stuart Kettlewell and began his tenure with a 2-0 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on Wednesday night, the club’s fifth successive loss, the fourth in the league.

The Dingwall club are four points adrift of Hamilton as they prepare to meet the Buddies whose impressive 11-game unbeaten run ended against Hibernian at Easter Road the same night.

Hughes, though, is a huge admirer of the Paisley outfit and said: “St Mirren have been absolutely fantastic.

“You look at them and say, if we can do what they do then we will be alright.

“They just grind it out, they play some nice football and have some good footballers, so it’s going to be difficult and it is a different challenge but one that we have to be ready for.

“We are where we are for a reason, we can’t keep the ball out at one end and we can’t score as you seen against Celtic.

“We just need that to change to keep a clean sheet and nick a goal and then we are up and running.”

After putting in such an effort against Celtic, Hughes is hoping there is no adverse reaction against St Mirren.

The former Falkirk, Hibernian and Inverness boss said: “I’ve touched on it many times.

“Every time I’ve taken a team to either half of the Old Firm, you put so much in to it that the next game, even mentally, can be a little bit flat.

“It cannot be flat come Saturday. We have to be right out the traps and be ready.

“So, if they keep giving me that and we can add a bit of quality, there is enough there to go and win games.”

Striker Ross Stewart came off at Celtic Park with a tight hamstring but Hughes is hopeful he will be fit for the visit of the Buddies.

He said: “It is a tight hamstring and hopefully he will be alright and ready to go.”