Inverness CT V Motherwell at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

31 March 2014 04:01
Inverness CT V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hughes wary of Motherwell threat

Inverness manager John Hughes has told his players they need to wise up against Motherwell - or they might find themselves out the team.

Caley Thistle played eight games in March and only won one of them, against Partick Thistle.

Hughes has been happy with his side's effort and some of their football but he wants them to be more ruthless at both ends of the park.

And he feels they can learn something from their previous meeting with Motherwell, a 2-0 defeat at Fir Park less than two weeks ago, ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash with the Lanarkshire side on Tuesday night.

"I think Stuart McCall has done a great job," Hughes said.

"When we were down there, even though we were the better football side, they have got something that, no matter if they are up against a better football team or are under the cosh, they know how to win a football match.

"I think we play football and we still don't know how to keep a clean sheet.

"That's all down to hard work and shape."

Inverness are five points off fourth-placed Dundee United with a game in hand and Hughes is desperate to mount a push for European football.

"I will pick a team and let them go and play, sit back and analyse it and get the answers," he said.

"And if it's not those guys.I keep saying to them, football evolves. If it's not you, it will be someone else.

"You can't do any more than give them the jersey and say 'go and play and show me you can take this club where we want to go'."

One player who will not be in the team is centre-back Josh Meekings, after the club confirmed they would not appeal against the red card he received during Saturday's 2-2 draw with St Mirren.

Hughes disagreed with Willie Collum's decision after claiming Graeme Shinnie would have intercepted the ball had Meekings not brought down Josh Magennis as he ran through towards goal, but the club have ruled out an appeal.

Meanwhile, McCall has told his injury-hit squad that putting extra effort into their midweek trip to Inverness could be the key to their season.

McCall revealed another two unnamed players were likely to be added to an injury list that already numbers five and includes the likes of James McFadden, ahead of Tuesday night's Highland clash.

But he has urged his fit players to double their efforts and get the three points that will take them into second place in the Scottish Premiership as they fight for a sixth season in Europe in seven years.

McCall said: "We are all going to be on a beach in six weeks, some might go to Rio, some might go to Largs, so now is the time to put our foot down and not think we're tired. We have really got to put everything into this.

"It might be in six weeks' time, lying wherever we are lying, that we look back and think 'it was a cold, damp, bobbly-pitch night up at Inverness that got us where we wanted to be'. That's how we have got to approach it.

"We have got to be really focused and positive and look to come back down the road back in second place."

McCall has noticed Inverness playing out from the back more often under Hughes than predecessor Terry Butcher, including during their recent 2-0 defeat at Fir Park.

"They had a lot of good possession, certainly second half, but we scored two really good goals," he said.

"I watched them last week up at Tannadice and they were certainly unfortunate not to take anything. They are playing a good brand of football and passing it well.

"The second goal highlighted that on Saturday, a 12-pass move. They are a bit like us at the minute - they have played a lot of games and have a few injuries but we are both in there fighting."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0