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Ross County manager's motivation inspired attacker in Kilmarnock win


By Andrew Henderson

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John Hughes says he tried an usual method of motivating Billy Mckay ahead of last Saturday’s win over Kilmarnock – telling him he was not in the team.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Ross County(3) v Kilmarnock(2). 06.03.21. Ross County's Billy McKay celebrates after scoring to go 3-1 ahead.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Ross County(3) v Kilmarnock(2). 06.03.21. Ross County's Billy McKay celebrates after scoring to go 3-1 ahead.

Mckay played an instrumental role in County’s victory, scoring twice as the match ended 3–2, but as far as the Northern Irishman was concerned Hughes was struggling to find a place for him just a couple of days beforehand.

If it was mind games the Staggies manager was using, they worked a treat, and Hughes was delighted for a player he also worked with at Caley Thistle.

He says that if Mckay continues to find the back of the net, it will make it almost impossible to leave him out going forward.

“Billy’s never changed,” Hughes said.

“When I first went into Inverness I thought he was left-footed. I realised after a month he’s a goalscorer.

“He’s bitterly disappointed he’s not been playing football. I tried to press a few buttons with him – I said I was struggling to get him in the squad. He said ‘all I want to do is play football’. Good, you’re playing.

“I know Billy and he’s got plenty to give. He wants to repay Ross County and like any player, he feels the frustration when he’s not playing.

“Do that and you’ll stay in the team every week.

“Someone was telling he’s among the top four or five scorers in the Premiership. He’s a great boy. His movement across the front is great and I’m really delighted for him.”

County’s penultimate game before the split sees Hibernian travel to Dingwall this weekend, and Hughes wants another three points.

“It’s important to get back-to-back results,” he said.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve not done that. We’re up against a good Hibs team – Jack Ross has got plenty at his disposal and they’re flying high.

“But we’re at home and if we want to stay in this league we have to let Hibs know they’ve been in a game. I think Hibs will be expecting that, and I expect that.”


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