Inverness: John Hughes dedicates win to injured goalkeeper

John Hughes celebrates with his Inverness Caledonian Thistle players
John Hughes has led Caley Thistle to their first Scottish Cup final

John Hughes dedicated his Inverness Caledonian Thistle side's 3-2 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic to injured goalkeeper Dean Brill.

Brill will miss the rest of the season after being injured against Celtic in the Premiership last weekend.

"I have to mention Dean Brill," the Inverness manager told BBC Scotland. "That's for Dean Brill - a guy who's been absolutely outstanding for us.

"I'm absolutely delighted. Well done to the boys and supporters."

It was Caley Thistle's third appearance in a Scottish Cup semi-final and their first victory.

"I didn't know that was our first Scottish Cup final and it's a good story, isn't it," said Hughes. "It's a dream.

"We've lost our goalkeeper, our top striker at Christmas, Billy Mckay - we had to sell him as it was good business for the club - we lost our inspirational skipper right at the start of the season. but the boys just keep digging in and they deserve to be in a cup final."

Hughes is a former Celtic defender and two of the sides he previously managed, Falkirk and Hibernian, had been in the semi-final 24 hours earlier.

It was Peter Houston's Bairns who prevailed and will be Caley Thistle's Hampden Park opponents on 30 May.

David Raven (centre) celebrates his winner against Celtic
David Raven's winner against Celtic was the defender's third ever goal

"It's my old club and I played with Houstie," said the Inverness manager. "I am delighted that Falkirk are in the Cup final - and it could have been Hibs as well.

"A small club, Falkirk have had some wonderful times there and it'll be a right good cup final - and hopefully it is for Scottish football.

"Falkirk carried a wee bit of luck and we carried a wee bit of luck and we'll go and enjoy it."

Celtic were 1-0 ahead when referee Steven McLean waved away claims for a penalty when Leigh Griffiths' header struck the hand of Inverness defender Josh Meakings.

The Premiership leaders then had goalkeeper Craig Gordon sent off for pulling down Marley Watkins and Greg Tansey equalised from the penalty spot.

"We were playing against a really formidable side and I think the sending off certainly swung the game," said Hughes.

"It might have been a penalty and we got the break, but we've worked ever so hard.

"I've played against 10 men stacks of times and I thought my boys were outstanding.

"For David Raven to get the winner - unbelievable. That's three goals in his career."

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