Inverness: John Hughes praise for Ross County keeper Mark Brown

Mark Brown (right) was in fine form against Inverness
Caley Thistle's Ryan Christie congratulated Mark Brown on his performance

Inverness manager John Hughes reacted to Mark Brown's cat-like performance against his former club by joking: "I am going to strangle him."

The Ross County goalkeeper kept Caley Thistle at bay after they had equalised Yoann Arquin's Highland derby opener.

"He's a good lad, big Brownie and he's a real good character and an example of what Jim McIntyre will want at his club," suggested Hughes.

"How many blocks he got, past the post, some close shaves we had."

The County boss also praised 33-year-old Brown.

"That's why he's there," said Jim McIntyre. "He had some real, top-drawer saves.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes
Hughes felt Inverness had the chances to win the derby

"There was heroic defending, throwing their bodies on the line and that's what's going to take us forward.

"You are never going to dominate a game for the whole 90 minutes, so it's important when you don't that you do those type of things."

The 1-1 draw prevented Caley Thistle from drawing level with Dundee United in second spot in the Scottish Premiership while Hamilton Academical became surprise leaders after their shock 1-0 win away to reigning champions Celtic.

"I am a little disappointed we didn't pick up the three points, but to get 17 points two games before the first quarter, all credit to the boys," Hughes told BBC Scotland.

"Don't underestimate Hamilton. We are the only team to have beaten them and that was the first game of the season and there was a little bit of trepidation and anxiety in their play.

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
McIntyre's side have picked up four points in their last two matches

"They are really hard-working, full of young boys full of enthusiasm, every one of them got something to prove and it's no surprise to me that they are riding high in the league.

"It is still early days and is there for the taking for anybody who wants to hit a bit of form."

Hughes was dumbfounded by his side's inability to win the derby.

"That Lady Luck has just evaded us," he said. "Is it luck or that final bit of quality and that final decision making, that cut-back, that final pass, that cross that's letting us down?

"If I'm totally honest, they had one or two chances in the first half and Dean Brill had one or two saves, but we had enough chances in that second half to win two games never mind one."

McIntyre added of his team's performance: "What we're asking them to do in playing high-pressure football you need a high level of fitness for that and you can gradually see the boys are getting there.

"What I saw today was a real determination. I've seen it since I came in the door - a bit of togetherness and working their backsides off for one another.

"We got that point today and I think the point was fair."

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