Inverness CT V Partick at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

21 March 2014 05:01
Inverness CT V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hughes desperate to end winless run

John Hughes will accept the "ugliest game in the world" if his Inverness side come out on top against Partick Thistle in their home Scottish Premiership clash on Saturday.

The Highlanders are in the midst of a tough time at the moment, without a win in five games and their Scottish League Cup final defeat by Aberdeen at Celtic Park last Sunday in a penalty shoot-out was followed by a 2-0 league defeat by Motherwell at Fir Park in midweek.

Caley remain in fifth place and still harbour hopes of a European spot while the Maryhill side are unbeaten in their last three matches as they continue scrapping to get away from the relegation play-off spot.

Former Falkirk and Hibernian boss Hughes is desperate to arrest the recent run of poor results but is also conscious of the fact that he has yet to win a home league game since taking over from Terry Butcher in December.

"We need to get back to winning ways, even if it's the ugliest game in the world," he said.

"Our home form hasn't been good and we need to start winning games again.

"If we want to achieve what we are trying to achieve, we need to win our home games.

"Hopefully that will start on Saturday.

"We are coming to the business end of the season where there are teams fighting for their lives, like Partick.

"Everyone has something to play for so it should be tasty one.

"Partick are a good side and they should have beaten us the last time we were down there.

"I think it was my second game and we were poor that night.

"They have recruited very well in the window and they are playing with confidence. But it's a challenge and it's one that has to inspire you."

Wide-man Aaron Doran is a doubt for the Thistle game after being substituted in the defeat at Fir Park.

Stuart Bannigan is available again for Partick after serving a one-match suspension and could go straight back into the squad.

Also back in contention for the trip to the Highlands is Aaron Muirhead, who has recovered from injury.

Partick defender Stephen O'Donnell admits he has no idea what to expect from Inverness.

The Highlanders have endured a difficult week so far, losing the League Cup final on penalties to Aberdeen before suffering a defeat at Motherwell in a game they did not deserve to lose.

Next up is the visit of Partick and O'Donnell is hopeful the Firhill outfit can cap a miserable seven days for John Hughes' men.

He said: "It's been a very tough week for them but you can never quite tell how teams will react.

"They could come out fighting or they could be a bit off the pace. I hope they're off the pace - but I wouldn't count on it.

"We just need to focus on our own job and hopefully get the three points."

As well as failing to win any of their last five outings, Inverness have also been unable to find the back of the net in those games.

O'Donnell added: "You have a point to prove in every game, no matter where you are in the league.

"They will have a point to prove this weekend but hopefully we can keep their run of not scoring goals going and get a couple ourselves.

"You don't know what's going to happen. They could come out and fire five past a team - hopefully it's not us."

Partick's own focus is on extending a recent positive run and moving as far away as possible from the relegation play-off zone.

O'Donnell said: "At the start of the season, confidence was high. It did take a dip, which is natural as we weren't getting results.

"But we were playing good football and, fortunately enough, we are starting to get the results. Hopefully we can keep it going.

"It would be great if we could get four or five wins in our next games. We are just going out and doing our best and, if we get the results, we will be delighted.

"We just have to keep working hard and hopefully we will be on the right side of the play-off zone come the end of the season."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

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