Inverness CT 2-0 Hearts: Christie the difference - Hughes

John Hughes praised Ryan Christie for inspiring Inverness Caledonian Thistle's performance in the 2-0 win against Hearts.

Christie set up the opening goal for James Vincent as Caley Thistle claimed their first win of the season, with Miles Storey netting late on.

"It was probably Ryan in the second half who ignited what we were going to do," said manager Hughes.

Head coach Robbie Neilson admitted Hearts "didn't deserve to win".

"We didn't pass the ball as well as we can," he said. "We looked a shell of the team we have been, we had a poor performance previously and we have a big game coming up next week [against Aberdeen] that we need to prepare for and be ready.

"To earn the right to win it you have to fight as hard as you can and scratch for everything. We didn't do that. It's a big learning curve for a lot of our players coming back up again.

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
Neilson felt Hearts' performance level dropped

"We had a fantastic season last season but in the Championship you can win games at 60, 70% but you can't do that in the top league.

"Our final choice, the final pass was poor. It happens and you have to learn from it. Hopefully next week we'll be better."

Hearts, who have now lost their last two after opening with five wins in the Scottish Premiership, finished with 10 men after Juwon Oshaniwa was sent off for lashing out at Tobi Sho-Silva.

"I've not seen the red card, I was about 70 yards away in the dugout," said Neilson. "I'll go away and see it on TV and take it from there."

Christie re-joined Inverness on loan after finalising a move to Celtic on a four-year deal. And his pass for Vincent's opener was just the tonic the Highlanders needed as they ended a run of four home games without a goal.

"I kept saying we weren't too far away and that lady luck had deserted us," explained Hughes.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle players celebrating
Storey (right) marked his Inverness debut with a goal

"I felt we were the better team in the second half. Someone mentioned we hadn't scored at Inverness this season so I'm absolutely delighted.

"All the fans have seen how good a player [Miles Storey] is going to be for us - he looks sharp, he's quick and he's a lovely lad.

"And then big Silva who came on, you can see he's going to be a handful. We have been looking for these guys to stretch the game for us, because we are a good team but that is what we've been missing.

"The boys have given it everything since they have come back here and they deserve a little bit of luck so absolutely delighted to pick up the three points.

"If we can keep everyone injury free then hopefully that's us unbeaten in two and we can just keep going.

"We're not the team we were last season, [it's] hard to replace players we lost like [Graeme] Shinnie, Billy MacKay, Marley Watkins, Nick Ross. But we can go about our game a different way.

"I can smell that spirit, that vibe again, that hunger - I've seen that on the training pitch. When you do that you get your rewards, and we got our rewards tonight."