Inverness boss John Hughes expects tough battle with Livingston
Inverness boss John Hughes does not expect to see League Cup opponents Livingston running out with glum faces when they clash on Tuesday - despite their miserable start to the Ladbrokes Championship season.
Top-flight Caley Thistle travel to the newly-renamed Tony Macaroni Arena on Tuesday to face a Livi side who have yet to win a league match this season.
But Hughes - who had a nine-month stint in charge at Almondvale back in 2012 - is close friends with Lions kitman Stephen Sproule and believes his childhood pal will ensure spirits remain high in Mark Burchill's camp.
Speaking ahead of the third-round tie, Hughes said: "My best friend in life is the kitman down at Livi. His name is Stephen Sproule - or wee Cheb as he is nicknamed. We called him that because his mum thought he was a cherub when really he was a rascal.
"I had him at Falkirk and I can tell you something, this guy is infectious. And I bet even though Livingston are going through a tough period right now, there will still be plenty of laughs and not a dull moment in that dressing room.
"And that will all be because of wee Cheb. He's a fantastic guy. He's more than a kitman. He's a motivator, a rehab guy and even a bodybuilder. He's everything rolled into one.
"So he will make sure the enthusiasm is still there.
"However, it's not what Livi do. It's all about us.
"You can never take anything for granted. Livingston have not won a league game yet this year but they are always well organised.
"I spoke to (Hibernian boss) Alan Stubbs at the Hearts-Aberdeen game on Sunday. Hibs played Livi on Saturday and the two of us came to the same conclusion. They are maybe lacking a bit of confidence but they should not be underestimated. If we are not at our best we will come unstuck."
Livingston have captain Ben Gordon available after completing a two-game suspension, however Craig Sives is out with a hamstring injury and Moses Druckell is not yet fit enough to start after a similar problem.
Burchill is looking for his side to keep progressing as he explained: "We went to Rangers recently and put on a strong display and built on that against Hibs at the weekend.
"We may have lost but if we build on those two performances, and take confidence from them, then we will make Inverness work very hard to get through."