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Fan view: John Hughes must work out which Ross County players can be relied upon in survival fight – and quickly

Ross County manager John Hughes.
Ross County manager John Hughes.

The world of football always moves quickly. Barely four days had passed from the loss to Hamilton when John Hughes was sitting in the dugout as first-team manager against Celtic.

With no January break this winter and so many fixtures ahead of us in the near future, Ross County’s board needed to be decisive with the new appointment.

In terms of having a previous connection to the area and some of the players, not needing a different backroom staff and quick availability, it is easy to see why Hughes was approached.

Whether or not it is the correct decision remains to be seen.

Having seen close-by what a success Hughes was at Inverness, he clearly has the ability to coach his squad to a better level of performance given time to do so.

However, time is a very precious commodity in these circumstances.

With no January break this season and midweek league fixtures until the new year, training sessions will be at a premium – Hughes will quickly have to decide on who he can rely on in the half-season left available to him.

Hughes failed to turn around Raith Rovers’ fortunes in his last managerial post, which was also a short-term mission, so it is understandable to be wary of how quickly he can improve this side.

Having said that, there are two basic things that Hughes needs to concentrate on to get County climbing the table: stop conceding terrible goals and start scoring the good chances when they come.

Stuart Kettlewell’s team rarely had a problem in the spaces in-between this season.

Ensuring a strong spine to the team – with a midfield enforcer to protect the centre-backs – will give the rest of the team a foundation to play.

I would then be optimistic of enough goals from the strikers to survive.

Ross County boss John Hughes says first experience of game without fans was ‘just not football’

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