Manager John Hughes plays down Inverness CT's hopes

Inverness and Celtic players
Inverness secured a narrow win over reigning champions Celtic

Manager John Hughes insists Inverness Caledonian Thistle have "no chance" of finishing second in the Premiership

Victory over reigning champions and overwhelming title favourites for the title Celtic kept Caley Thistle top of the league after four matches played.

It was the Highlanders' third win of the season.

"We're going to try and win as many games as we can as quick as we can to try and stay in the Premiership," said Hughes after the 1-0 success.

"I've been in the game that long, as soon as you think it's not too bad football kicks you right in the back side.

"We had to be resolute [against Celtic]. I'm absolutely over the moon.

"We rode our luck at times - Dean Brill had one or two great saves, they hit the woodwork - but you need that luck against Celtic. And then, we created a few chances ourselves in the first half - one off the line from a set-piece.

"Second half, we got our goal. For me, we scored too early. You need to score against Celtic on 85 minutes because after that it was one-way traffic.

"But, all credit to us, we closed shop, we closed the lines up, tightened it up, changed the shape a little bit and looked to play on the counter-attack.

"We could've maybe have scored another goal. Nick Ross had a good chance and it was a good save by the goalkeeper."

Celtic boss Ronny Deila defended making 10 changes to his starting line-up ahead of Tuesday's Champions League play-off second leg against NK Maribor in Glasgow, with that tie poised at 1-1.

Hughes kept his side unchanged from last week's win at Motherwell but injuries dictated he could only name six substitutes.

"It does help," added the former Hibernian and Livingston manager. "When you get that confidence and momentum and everyone knows each other's game.

"I can totally understand the Celtic line-up, all these changes. They've got a massive game on Tuesday and for the sake of Scottish football, I hope they qualify because we need someone carrying the flag in Europe.

"But, you have to beat what's in front of you and most of these guys [in the Celtic side] would get a game in Inverness."

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