John Hughes will be watching from a Fir Park stand when Caley Jags face Motherwell today, but his assistant Brian Rice reckons the Highlanders can use the manager’s absence from the dugout to their advantage.
The SFA yesterday handed Hughes an immediate one-match suspension from the touchline for criticising referee Andrew Dallas after Caley Thistle’s 1-1 draw against Dundee.
That means Rice, pictured, will be in charge in the technical area at Fir Park today and the 52-year-old reckons Hughes’ wider view of the action could work to his side’s benefit.
Rice, who assisted Hughes at Falkirk and Hibernian, said: “It can be an advantage sometimes if one of us is up in the stand. It’s a different vantage point, another view of the match. On the touchline we’re very close to the action and trying to see everything. Sometimes after stepping away it’s a little bit calmer, you see it in a different light.
“Hopefully it works to our advantage, although it would be good to have John beside us. But he’ll be up there and he might see things we don’t see.
“At Manchester United their dug-outs are actually in the stand and it’s a very good view. Down pitch-side it can be very difficult sometimes when we’re at playing level. We both see the game the same way. I’m sure if there’s something he needs to get down to me, he’ll get it down somehow.
“It happened before a few years ago, so there are no problems at all. It’s not about me and John – it’s about the players.”
Inverness go into the game without a win in their last four outings and suffering a lengthy injury list.
That is unlikely to clear this afternoon, with captain Gary Warren and leading scorer Miles Storey unlikely to be risked, despite returning to training.
Rice added: “It does not improve. Miles has trained a little bit, but I don’t know if it’s enough for him to start the game.
“Gary has had a full week’s training, but it would be asking a lot of him to start the match.
“We’ll see how the players feel – which is a big thing when they’re coming back from injury.
“The most important thing is getting through the game with a positive result so we can get into the international break and get some work done with the players coming back and maybe arrange a game.”