Caley Thistle have travelled south to Glasgow for Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Falkirk having already secured a ticket to the Europa League qualifiers courtesy of their third-place finish in the Premiership.
Those achievements – it will be the club’s first appearance in the final of the national cup competition – can only help to win over the hearts of the locals and be the catalyst for further progess, according to Hughes.
He said: “The only way to play your part is to do what we’re doing and get into Europe and cup finals.
“We had an open day the other day for the school kids and it was great to see them all in Inverness strips. I never saw any Celtic or Rangers strips. If we can give them pride in Inverness and get all these school kids to go and support their local team then we are certainly playing our part.”
Inverness’ average attendance this season is 3,700 but Hughes is expecting up to six times that number to make their way down the A9 to Hampden Park this weekend.
He said: “I’m quite sure we’ll take 15,000-20,000 down to the cup final and hopefully we’ll give them a good day.
“If we go and play in the final and really turn up and play at our best then I’m confident we can bring the Scottish Cup back to Inverness.
“We all want to win, we all want success, we all want medals and trophies. But, if I’m honest, it’s the way we’ve done it, the way we pass the ball and entertain, that’s been the most pleasing thing for me.
“When you come to a club with the finances and resources that we work with, the remit was basically to stay in the top flight and always try to push for the top six and latter stages of the cup competitions.”
Watch the Scottish Cup final on Saturday 30 May on Sky Sports 3HD from 2.00pm