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.

(Photo Credit – SNS Group)

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Captain Iain Vigurs put in a talismanic shift at the heart of midfield for County, but had to be withdrawn with a bloody nose after being caught by the flailing arm of Kyle Lafferty.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.  

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