John Hughes: Inverness too open in Ross County defeat

John Hughes suggested Inverness paid the price for being too open as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Ross County.

Aaron Doran's late goal was not enough after Scott Boyd and Alex Cooper scored early first-half strikes.

The hosts also had Ross Draper sent off with 15 minutes to go as they tried to force their way back into the game.

"All credit to them," he said. "They come here, sat in and hit us on the counter. It worked a treat for them."

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As a coach and a manager you have to go out there and entertain.

John Hughes Inverness CT manager

In-form home striker Billy McKay had sent an effort off the post before Boyd's drive from 12 yards put County ahead after 15 minutes.

Visiting midfielder Cooper found the same bottom right-hand corner less than two minutes later.

"I felt that, if we'd scored when we hit the post, it might have put a whole different outlook on the game," Hughes told BBC Scotland. "They might have had to open up and come at us.

"We were a little bit over-committed, and a little bit expansive, resulting in us losing two goals.

"Once again, we have to be more street-wise in terms of our team shape, but I fear as a coach and a manager you have to go out there and entertain, get on the ball and make things happen.

"So sometimes I might have to look at it as well.

"I felt we did everything that we could in terms of change of shape.

"We went with three men at the back. Even after big Drapes got sent off, we still made the substitution and we still had four up front and maybe were just too expansive resulting in us leaving ourselves wide open."

With the opening of the January transfer window, Hughes is concentrating on keeping his squad together despite interest in his men and says he is not likely to bring any new faces in despite his third defeat since taking over at the Caledonian Stadium.

"I very much doubt it," he said. "What I'd like to do if I was doing good business would be keeping everyone here at the club for another year or so, and hopefully that will be the case.

"We've got Richie Foran and Ryan Esson that have committed to the club. Hopefully another two or three will follow suit."