Inverness CT V St Johnstone at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

10 May 2014 12:31
Inverness CT V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hughes: We're getting there

Inverness manager John Hughes believes the learning process between himself and his players has been a success.

Caley Thistle have only won two out of their last 14 games ahead of their final Scottish Premiership game of the season, against St Johnstone at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

But Hughes, who took over from Terry Butcher in December, feels his players have adapted well to the ideas of himself and assistant manager Russell Latapy.

Hughes said: "We're starting to find out their strengths and their weaknesses, who can play where and what kind of systems we can play.

"We are constantly looking at that. One thing I will say is what a wonderful bunch of boys Terry had, he had a great dressing room.

"All I have done is come in and put my style of play and wee bits of pieces on how I like to see the game played.

"The boys have adjusted and adapted fantastically well and I think they are really enjoying it. I like to think they are enjoying it because sometimes it goes a long way to bringing success."

A draw will secure fifth spot for Inverness and Hughes wants no slip-ups.

"We know what we're playing for," he said. "If they beat us, they overtake us, so there is plenty to play for in the last game of the season."

Hughes hopes to have an unchanged squad with defender Josh Meekings (groin) and skipper Richie Foran (knee) still out.

There may be more high-profile games this weekend but St Johnstone midfielder Gary McDonald is delighted to get the chance to play for fifth place and a cup final spot at Inverness.

Saints will leapfrog Caley Thistle if they win their final Scottish Premiership game of the season in the Highlands on Sunday and there will be several players in Tommy Wright's line-up looking to secure a starting place against Dundee United at Celtic Park the following weekend.

"It's all to play for," McDonald said. "At this stage you don't want a meaningless game. I have played in a few of them myself, sometimes it gets to the last game of the season and it's like a friendly fixture. But obviously it's not going to be like that.

"We have a lot to play for. When we got in the top six, our aim was to cvatch the teams above us. We can't catch United but we can catch Inverness, so it's all there for us."

McDonald has returned from a six-week lay-off with a knee injury just in time to push for a place in the William Hill Scottish Cup final team.

And he is desperate to feature in a match that will eclipse anything he experienced so far in a career which has seen him play for Kilmarnock, Oldham, Aberdeen, Hamilton and Morecambe.

"I'm no different to everybody, I'd love to play in the cup final," the 32-year-old said. "Everyone is exactly the same, we all have our heads down working hard and trying to do as best as we can.

"I've played in play-off games down south but nothing like the cup final. For everyone, I think this will be the biggest game of their careers."

Stevie May (shin) and Gary Miller (ankle) will be assessed but they are not expected to be risked for the Scottish Premiership finale, which falls six days before Saints' Scottish Cup final debut.

Source: PA