Caley Thistle manager John Hughes will celebrate two years in charge tomorrow and is determined last season’s achievements will not be the pinnacle of his career.
Hughes and his assistant Brian Rice signed two-year contract extensions on Tuesday, keeping them at Caledonian Stadium until 2018.
Last season Hughes led the club to the most successful campaign in its 21-year history, winning the Scottish Cup and finishing third in the Premiership to secure European football for the first time.
Following the loss of key players such as Billy Mckay, Graeme Shinnie, Marley Watkins and Nick Ross, along with numerous injury problems, the Caley Jags are eighth in the league.
But the manager is determined the loss of key players will not derail his ambitions and said: “We have set standards at the club, and winning habits, that we keep striving towards.
“We are still trying to win silverware and keep progressing the club. It’s going to be difficult because we haven’t got the rampaging style of Graeme Shinnie, up and down that left hand side and we’ve not got the pace of Marley Watkins.
“Miles Storey (on loan from Swindon) is another we’re going to look at trying to keep, but if it’s not these players, we go and find another. That’s the process of football. We have to stay ahead of the game.”
Caley Thistle will continue to provide a platform for players to earn more lucrative contracts elsewhere and Hughes added: “It’s a fantastic platform for players, and we’re prepared to give them that platform.
“Players can come here and do the business, get a move and then it’s ‘thanks very much’.
“If that’s the way it has to be for one or two years, we’re prepared to do that.
“Players who might have lost their way, we get them going again and everyone benefits.
“We work very hard to try to educate players and I want to get back to the heights we set last year.”