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Ross County manager John Hughes has no complaints over two-match touchline ban

Ross County manager John Hughes.
John Hughes.

Ross County manager John Hughes has no complaints over his touchline ban which will force him to sit in the stand for the Staggies’ two remaining Premiership matches.

Hughes has been handed a two-match ban, with a further two matches suspended, following a Scottish FA hearing on Thursday.

The Staggies boss was issued a notice of complaint last month, having been alleged to have broken two disciplinary rules when he made comments about refereeing performances in Scotland.

Hughes was speaking in defence of Hamilton Accies counterpart Brian Rice, who was also handed the same length of ban following his own comments.

John Hughes.

The charge related to incidents which happened in County’s defeats to St Mirren (February 27) and Hibernian (March 13), with Hughes subsequently arguing he felt patronised when he spoke to referees’ chief Crawford Allan, as well as arguing “small clubs get nothing”.

Hughes insists he received a fair hearing, and he is prepared to take the punishment that has come his way.

He said: “I felt it was always going to happen, the hearing was a fair one and I got to say what my points were. They put their case forward and that was it.

“My whole point, which they understood, is the transparency of the system. That’s it in a nutshell.

“I have to respect it, take it on the chin and keep moving forward.”

The ban will mean Hughes must sit in the stand for next Wednesday’s home match against Hamilton Accies, as well as the final-day fixture away to Motherwell next Sunday.

County are in 10th, with three points separating them from bottom club Accies going into next week’s encounter.

Brian Rice (left) with John Hughes.

With Accies boss Rice also suspended for the fixture, Hughes does not feel the ban will carry much impact at a time when matches are still being played behind closed doors.

Hughes added: “In terms of sitting in the stand, I don’t think it will make much difference with no supporters being there, because the players can still hear me and I can still coach.

“I don’t think it will be an issue on Wednesday because Brian is sitting in the stand as well. For all the years we have been together, it’s always him that has got me into trouble because have always been trying to fight his fights.

“It’s part and parcel of it. I just have to get on with it.

“Normally there is not too much to say or do on a matchday, as all your work is done by the time a game comes. You need to let the guys prepare mentally. It will be no change in that.”

Hughes will focus his efforts on preparing his side for the challenge of Accies, whose seven-year stay in the top flight will be ended if County and second-bottom Kilmarnock both win on Wednesday.

Hamilton’s Reegan Minmaugh and Hakeen Odoffin (centre) battle with Ross County’s Jordan White.

Hughes added: “We are playing against a team in Hamilton who for a number of years have always defied the odds.

“They are always getting tipped for relegation, but they are masters of getting the results and staying in the Premiership.

“We have to make sure we know our opponent, and their strengths and weaknesses.

“Hopefully we can put in the kind of performance we did against Dundee United and, if we do that, hopefully the three points are ours.”

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