In a big development this morning, John Hughes has swiftly been appointed the new Ross County manager ahead of their game against Celtic.
The former Hoops defender, who played for the club between 1995 and 1996, replaces the outgoing Stuart Kettlewell in Dingwall.
This means that big Yogi will be in the dugout for his first big challenge at Celtic Park on Wednesday night. And this has most definitely added a layer of both intrigue and difficulty to the fixture for the Hoops.
Hughes has experience in toppling Celtic on our own ground in the past. He led Falkirk to a famous League Cup win at Parkhead back in 2006. He also secured another big Parkhead win when he was at Hibs in 2010. A 2-1 success in Glasgow led to the beginning of the end for Tony Mowbray.
And that’s not the only success he’s had against us in the past either. During his days with Inverness, Hughes managed another big win against us at Hampden in a 3-2 win over Ronny Deila’s Celtic in 2015. A year earlier he also secured a 1-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium against us. That one was courtesy of an Eoghan O’Connell own goal. He also toppled us at the Falkirk Stadium back in 2007. You get the picture.
Hughes appointment doesn’t make Wednesday easier for Celtic
So it’s fair to say that Hughes could be a big appointment for the Staggies. Considering they’re four points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, they need inspiration from somewhere. John could very well be the man to provide that.
Personally I’m delighted to see him back in the Premiership. We’re talking about a man who brought Falkirk up from the Scottish First Division and made them an established Scottish Premier League club.
He also bagged European football for Hibs and Inverness and got the former up to fourth place whilst playing eye-pleasing football in 2010. Hughes has proven himself in the past and cannot be underestimated when he comes to Parkhead.
In the past, the new County boss has consistently expressed his support of the Hoops. Only earlier this month was Hughes out backing Lennon to turn things around at Parkhead (Daily Record). He’s constantly positive about the club, but how ironic that he could provide a fatal blow to the man he backed just weeks ago.
Hopefully that’s not the case. Momentum is now key for Celtic and three points against County is a necessity. Anything else and the supporters will be out demanding change once more.
I really want Yogi to make a success of it in Dingwall, he’s a sensational character and an underrated manager. But hopefully County’s renaissance doesn’t start until after Wednesday.