Ross County manager John Hughes has left the Staggies following the end of his contract.
Hughes was brought to Victoria Park to replace Stuart Kettlewell in December with the remit of keeping County in the Premiership, at a time when the Dingwall side were four points adrift at the foot of the table.
The former Caley Thistle manager succeeded in his target, with a strong run of post-split form which culminated in a final day victory at Motherwell securing the Staggies’ top-flight safety with a 10th place finish.
With his short-term contract coming up for expiry, Hughes has held discussions with chairman Roy MacGregor over the possibility of an extended deal into next season.
In a statement, County have today confirmed “John has decided to explore further football opportunities and with the imminent expiry of his contract, John will leave the club. John’s time here was a great success for John personally and Ross County Football Club.”
Hughes said: “I would like to thank the players, staff and supporters. I have enjoyed my time at Ross County. I was appointed with the objective of securing Premiership football and I am proud to have achieved this under the circumstances. I wish Roy MacGregor and Ross County every success for the future.”
County will now begin the search for a new manager, with their statement going on to say: “As outlined by our chairman in recent interviews, the club is currently taking stock of our position and we are working extremely hard to deliver a long-term, strategic plan to support the continuing success of Ross County FC in the Scottish Premiership, and what we see as the beginning on a new era here in Dingwall.
“With this in mind, the club will now begin the process of finding our new manager.”