REACTION: Hughes commends fighting spirit during County’s comeback in Killie
Ross County coming from behind twice in their relegation battle with Kilmarnock please manager John Hughes. Seán McGill reports.
John Hughes saw plenty of positives as his Ross County battled back from a goal down twice to take a point away to relegation rivals Kilmarnock, despite admitting he felt the Staggies did enough to take all three points back up north.
“I thought we would have got more. Before I say that, we’ve got Ross Laidlaw to thank for a save in the last minute, but I think we created the better chances. Draper should have scored, Gardyne should have scored, we hit the woodwork. We played some nice football, so I’m a little bit disappointed to go up the road with only a point.
“But we gave ourselves a mountain to climb with that goal early doors, and then when we’re back into it, another soft goal from our point of view. I said to them at half time ‘second half, let’s keep a clean sheet, and you’ll go and win the game on.’
“I was confident we’d win the game. I knew we’d create chances, and I think we did enough in the second half to do that (win the game) but we just couldn’t get the ball in the net…I saw a team that are battling to try and stay in the league, and I’m absolutely delighted for them.”
Captain Iain Vigurs put in a talismanic shift at the heart of midfield for County, but had to be withdrawn with a bloody nose after being caught by the flailing arm of Kyle Lafferty. Hughes said he didn’t see the incident, relaying his skipper’s belief that a red card could have been brandished to the Killie striker.
“I never saw the incident, so I can’t comment on that, but he’s got plenty blood on his nose, so he’ll be the butt of the jokes going up the road.
“Iain felt it was enough for a red card, but I can’t comment on that. It’s part and parcel of football. I think Hylton got a whack and he’s feeling sorry for himself. You just get on with it.”
The draw keeps County out of the relegation places, still a point above Killie in 11th, while Hamilton’s defeat at Tannadice means there’s now a three-point gap between the Staggies and Accies.