Top boss Hughes praises Caley

Date published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 11:01

Hughes scooped the award after leading the Highland side to their first ever Scottish Cup final with a semi-final win over Celtic, and a probable top-three place in the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic enjoyed a fruitful evening with midfielder Stefan Johansen being voted the Player of the Year and Jason Denayer scooping Young Player of the Year.

However, former Falkirk, Hibernian and Hartlepool manager Hughes denied Hoops boss Ronny Deila from making it a clean sweep, also finishing ahead of Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes.

Hughes told Sky Sports: “I hope me picking up the award is a reflection of what we’ve done at Inverness. The team have been absolutely fantastic from the minute I went there and me picking up that award is for the players and everyone concerned with Inverness.

“We are where we are. It’s been a wonderful season. You mentioned what we can achieve and hopefully we can go and do that. Let’s take care of league business first and the Scottish Cup at the end of May is going to be a wonderful occasion. That’s going to be a tough game, but after the heroics in the semi-final against Celtic, hopefully we can win the cup and make history up in Inverness.”

Hughes was in reflective mood as he discussed his ups and downs in football but said he appreciates times like these, which only serve to re-emphasise his enthusiasm for the role he is in at Caley.

He said: “In terms of football I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but I’m at an age now where – appreciation is the word I’ll use – you appreciate the good times because there are plenty of lows in football and you realise that.

“And I keep saying – I’m doing something that I love. If it’s not playing then it’s coaching and managing and what makes it special up at Inverness is we’ve not got too much in terms of finance but you see people putting their heart and soul into the club and that’s what makes it a real special place and brings out a great spirit.

“And to everyone at Inverness, the supporters have been fantastic, small in numbers but always vocal. They get behind the team and hopefully we can get them some kind of success towards the end of the season.”

Denayer has impressed at the heart of Celtic’s defence after joining on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

And he savoured a memorable weekend after Aberdeen’s defeat at Dundee United on Saturday saw Celtic retain the Scottish Premiership crown, following their 5-0 win over Dundee on Friday night.

Denayer said: “I have worked hard and for my first season I couldn’t have expected any more.

“I have won the league, a cup and Young Player of the Year. So it was a very good move.

“It was a lot better than I could have hoped. I just expected to come here and play some games. I have played all the games when I was fit and we won the title.

“I was with some other players on Saturday and we saw on Twitter that we had won the title so we had a good time.

“It’s amazing, two good things happened for me – I think it’s been the best weekend for me.” 

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