John Hughes noted the Celtic Achilles heel pre-match; he called exactly how Ross County would win

By John McGinley

February 22, 2021

Ross County manager John Hughes was particularly candid in his interviews on BBC Sportsound and Sky Sports last night, before beating Celtic.

He’s often honest, but he went into the Staggies’ tactical plans in detail, laying out exactly how his side would match up against the visiting Bhoys.

One comment made on the radio stood out as incredibly prophetic too.

The County boss called exactly how his team would beat Celtic, exploiting the Achilles heel of Neil Lennon’s side.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland (21/02, 19:15), Hughes said: “We need to go and head the ball in both boxes. We’ve been working on that.

“I think there’s an Achilles heel there, and I really think it’s from set-pieces. In terms of height, they’ve got Ajer and Welsh. I don’t see too much more.

“If we show a real aggression and determination to get our head on it and the delivery is good, I think we might get success.”

John Hughes got the better of Celtic boss Neil Lennon

Hughes isn’t exactly proving he is Pep Guardiola with that assessment – ultimately, it’s a pretty basic football concept. However, you have to say fair play to him for executing his game plan perfectly against the Hoops.

They knew exactly what they were going to do. He instilled a belief into his players and helped them visualise the route to Celtic victory.

Hughes called his shot, Jordan White rose to power a header home, and Neil Lennon didn’t see it coming.

Jordan White scores for Ross County v Celtic / (Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

Teams have found our weakness far too often this season. Yes, the players take a portion of the blame, but ultimately the coaching staff also have to take responsibility.

If other managers and coaches are openly telling us how they will beat us before we even play, why can’t we counter it?

Surely that’s the question the Celtic board must be asking today.

In other news, Lennon has finally apologised to Celtic fans.