Scottish Daily Mail

Hughes on high alert for dangerous Rovers


INVERNESS boss John Hughes insists there is no way his team will underestim­ate Raith Rovers in today’s Scottish Cup quarter-final — particular­ly after they pulled off a feat that proved beyond his high-flying Highlander­s. The Kirkcaldy club’s victory over Rangers in the previous round at Ibrox last month was in sharp contrast to Caley Thistle’s meek exit from the League Cup at the same venue in September. For that reason alone, Hughes is demanding his men give their visitors the utmost respect as Inverness chase a first big cup day out at Hampden in more than a decade. ‘We are going to have to be at our absolute best,’ said Hughes. ‘We went to Ibrox and couldn’t beat Rangers, while they did. ‘We played Raith in pre-season and I have worked with five or six of their players. Every one of them is a good footballer. ‘They are always well organised and are going well in the league, still hoping to get to the play-off positions. They have good experience. It’s going to be a cracking game. ‘It’s all about getting through the tie and, hopefully, doing it in a manner for which we are now becoming renowned. ‘I’m quite sure there will be a lot of nerves and tension, but we need to overcome that. ‘It’s my job to free the players up and let them express themselves.’ While top-six finishes in the Premiershi­p are now commonplac­e for Inverness, silverware has eluded them. Last year’s League Cup Final defeat to Aberdeen at Celtic Park was a crushing blow and it is now 11 years since John Robertson’s side drew with Dunfermlin­e in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden before a replay defeat at Pittodrie. Hughes said: ‘Everyone knows what is at stake. It can all get away from you and it is important you keep your feet firmly on the ground — and let your football do the talking. ‘From now until the end of the season, we really have to concentrat­e and keep playing our own style of football. That is what has brought us this far.’ Raith defender Craig Barr admits there was never a dull moment under Hughes during their time together at Livingston but now he is determined to waltz into the last-four at his former manager’s expense. ‘Yogi was always doing something,’ recalled Barr. ‘One time in training, we had music on and one of the boys was dancing in the middle of the dressing room. ‘Yogi burst in and we thought we would get into trouble for having the music too loud, but he started dancing as well! ‘He was a good manager and a nice guy off the pitch. ‘It is going to be a tough game. One thing Yogi won’t do is underestim­ate us.’

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