Inverness CT: Hughes eyes cups and European qualification

John Hughes
Hughes led Inverness to victory in the Scottish Cup in 2015

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes believes there is no reason why his club cannot win a cup or achieve European football next term.

A convincing 4-0 win over Dundee clinched seventh place in the Premiership for Caley Thistle.

It was a fifth win in Inverness' last seven games.

"The standards I felt we've set were last year. I want to keep those standards, keep driving this club forward," said Hughes.

The Highlanders have found form towards the end of a season in which they have struggled for consistency. Now Hughes wants to set his side lofty targets for next season.

"Don't tell me that a provincial club like Inverness can't go and win the Scottish Cup again, can't go and get third, get Europe," he told BBC Scotland.

"I'll not accept that, that's the standards but we all need to be on board and keep driving it forward."

'Let's keep what we've got'

Hughes concedes there may be significant changes in personnel, but reiterated the importance of retaining key players.

"I keep saying this, let's make sure we keep what we've got, guys like Miles Storey and Greg Tansey," said the manager. "Keep that solid foundation and lets go and add to it.

"When it starts off again we have to make sure that we're bringing in or keeping players that we feel will go and take us back into the latter stages of cup competitions."

It does seem fans' favourite David Raven will depart, with Hughes admitting he sees Josh Meekings as his preferred option at right-back. A number of players have been offered contracts to stay but the club awaits final decisions.

Paul Hartley
Paul Hartley was frustrated to end the season with a defeat

For Dundee manager Paul Hartley it was a sore finish to a season that promised better. He has to settle for eighth place after narrowly missing out on the top six five games ago.

Hartley conceded it's likely Paul McGinn has played his last game for the club, with the player out of contract but dismissed suggestions he is looking to sign Hamilton defender Ziggy Gordon.

"There's a good chance of that [Paul McGinn departing] and Paul's within his rights in terms of he's out of contract," said Hartley. "We've offered him something but if Paul goes we need to try and find a replacement for him.

"He's been really consistent for us and done a great job. That's football sometimes players go and then we've just got to try and improve it again.

"We've been linked with quite a few players and it's probably an obvious choice that if Paul leaves and Ziggy's out of contract, but no, we've looked at a list of players and will hopefully bring a few players in the next few weeks."

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