Hibs boss issues warning to stars
Hughes has so far seen little sign of last weekend's impressive performance in a draw at Ibrox going to his squad's heads, but is demanding they maintain the same standards in Saturday's Scottish Premier League visit of Aberdeen. "I said to the players, 'If you feel a winning side picks itself, you want to sit back and rest on your laurels, and train as if you're in the team then you might get your fingers burnt'," Hughes said. "That's the message that I put through to them. "I'm big on how you apply yourself on the training pitch and every one of them is working to stay in the team and every one of them is working to get in the team." He added: "I've been looking at the way they've been training. "It gives you a great indication who's looking sharp and, to be fair, they're all looking sharp." Hughes was not shy of making changes during the match against Rangers and reminded the starting XI at Ibrox he has more than enough quality to replace them. He said: "I've got some good players to come in. Wee Lewis Stevenson: I've been talking about him for a long time now. "He came in there on Saturday and just showed you what a good footballer he is. "John Rankin, (Patrick) Cregg, big Nish (Colin Nish) has been looking razor-sharp in training." Hughes, who took charge of boyhood idols Hibs this summer, explained how during his time as Falkirk boss his players would follow up encouraging displays against Celtic and Rangers with a poor performance. "The focus has to be total in terms of preparation; our mindset has to be bang on," he said. "I've looked at the history when we were at Falkirk. We always felt when we put in a good performance against the Old Firm, the next game for some unknown reason it went flat. "That can't happen on Saturday; that cannot happen - not if we want to go where we all want to go." Hughes, whose side will go joint top of the SPL if they win this weekend and Celtic lose to Kilmarnock, added: "I'm still a little bit concerned that we've got that wee lacklustre performance in us. "It's not been the case in the last four or five weeks and hopefully that'll not be the case on Saturday." Hughes is expecting Aberdeen to present a very different challenge to that posed by Rangers. "What we did last week is history, although I felt we played some good stuff, and I'm looking for the boys to carry that on," he said. "It's going to be a totally different football match but I'm hoping that, whatever happens, we can go and produce the goods and pick up three points." He added: "We need to be very guarded playing against Aberdeen; they're a good side. "Mark's been brave to go with some young kids, but also he's got some good experience in there." Hughes also warned opposite number McGhee to be very afraid of Hibs if they play to their potential on Saturday. "If I'm an opposition manager, I would be worried about what I've got in my team," he said. "But it's up to these guys to go out and express themselves and win us the football match."
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