St Mirren 1-2 Inverness CT: John Hughes backs Marley Watkins

Greg Tansey (right) gave Inverness an early lead against St Mirren.
Greg Tansey (right) gave Inverness an early lead against St Mirren.

Inverness manager John Hughes hailed Marley Watkins despite a string of missed chances in their 2-1 win over St Mirren.

Watkins has replaced Billy McKay up front following the latter's move to Wigan, but it was Greg Tansey and Ryan Christie that got the goals to move the Highlanders up to joint second in the Scottish Premiership.

"It's a little unnatural to him [Watkins]," Hughes told BBC Scotland. "We're working very hard with him on the training pitch.

"I'm just delighted that he's wanting to take up that mantle, 'Give me that centre forward role'.

"If I'm honest enough today he might have got one or two goals. He's only going to get better as the weeks go by.

"I was a centre half in my day and I would hate to play against him because he's got blistering pace.

"I think you seen in the first half we can pop it about when teams come to press us, we can switch the play and get over the top, nine times out of ten he'll get on the end of it."

While the win was the eighth game in a row Inverness had gone without defeat, St Mirren stretched their run without a home win to 15 games, a unwanted club record.

St Mirren boss Gary Teale is still searching for the club's first home win of the season.
St Mirren boss Gary Teale is still searching for the club's first home win of the season.

St Mirren manager Gary Teale is confident his side still have plenty of time to turn things around and preserve their top flight status.

After starting with two up front, he said: "It's a learning curve for myself when you look at things, say we've not won a home game so we try to be on the front foot and a wee bit positive about things, and try and go get a result.

"But, for one reason or another it never really worked out for us in the first half.

"We tweaked the formation, changed the personnel at half-time, and I thought we got slightly back into the game.

"As long as we've got it in our own hands, as long as we can control our own destiny in terms of where we're going to be in the league at the end of the season then that's all I can ask for. "

He added: "I've been in eight or nine games now and that's probably the worst performance since I took over, so there's a lot of positives to take over the last couple of months.

"Today is certainly a negative that we need to go and work on."

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