Bigger impact is needed from Ross County subs says manager John Hughes
Get the Ross-shire Journal sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
John Hughes is looking for his substitutes to make more of an impact in matches over the final weeks of the season.
The Ross County manager has seen mid-game tweaks pay dividends at times, with the 2–1 win away at Hamilton a particularly good example as both Staggies goals came minutes after all five changes had been made.
However, that has not always been the case as seen against St Mirren last time out, so Hughes wants the players coming on to have a more consistently positive effect.
“Against Hamilton we were chasing the game, and I made four or five subs in one go and it turned the game around, we won 2–1,” Hughes recalled.
“Against St Mirren, it was 1–1.
“I made the substitutions, and a few minutes later we were 2–1 down. That cannot happen.
“You’re putting on substitutes to put you on the front foot, so that was disappointing. They’re all hard workers, so you just have to tell them to embrace the challenge, don’t let the pressure get to you.”
That said, Hughes appreciates that it is difficult to come on and immediately be right up to speed.
“It’s a hard thing to do,” he reasoned.
“We’ve gone with an experienced team, it’s not a secret that we might run out of legs as the game has gone on, but the hardest thing to do is to come off the bench.
“You have to influence it, and I’m making those changes because I’ve got great trust and belief in them.
“I don’t think it’s an 11-man game nowadays, it’s a 16-man game.
“If you’ve got them at your disposal, use them. Fresh legs can go and win you the game, but they can go and lose you the game, so they have to be really switched on tactically.
“You have to be a good teammate, if you come on you can’t be in a huff. Even if you want to prove me wrong, great, as long as you’re influencing the game it’s a win-win situation.”