Dundee Utd job intrigued John Hughes before new Inverness deal

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes
Hughes' Inverness are eighth in the Scottish Premiership

Inverness CT manager John Hughes admits he would have liked the opportunity to talk to Dundee United.

The Highland club rejected an approach for the 51-year-old from their Premiership rivals in October.

"I was a wee bit disappointed that they didn't let me go and speak to Dundee United," said Hughes, who signed a new two-year deal at ICT on Tuesday.

"That doesn't mean that I was going to go. They might have had a little more trust, I can look after myself."

Dundee United eventually replaced Jackie McNamara with Mixu Paatelainen, while Hughes is pleased to have his own future settled.

"There were one or two things that could have been handled better," he added on the interest from Tannadice.

"I'm always intrigued to see what other people are doing. I was always taught in the classroom to listen to what people have got to say.

"It's never been about money or finances for me, it's about coaching, it's about getting the best out of people."

Billy McKay and Josh Meekings
United are bottom of the league, nine points behind Caley Thistle

With Hughes now tied to the club until until May 2018, last season's PFA Scotland manager of the year intends to step up efforts for strengthening his squad and retaining key players.

He revealed that there is "a two-year deal on table for Ross Draper" and there is "scope to bring in one or two in January".

He also said he would explore the possibility of extending the loan deals for top-scorer Miles Storey, who has Swindon Town as his parent club, and midfielder Ryan Christie, who was sold to Celtic in the summer before being loaned back to the Highlanders.

On the search for new faces, Hughes added: "I can always find a bargain. I've been doing this for 14 years now and I think I've spent around £230,000 [in transfer fees].

"A good coach can get the best out of what he's got and that's what we've done over the last couple of years.

"I'm confident that these players have got a lot more to give me - we want to get back to the heights of last season.

"I said to them at a meeting this morning, 'it's simple if it's not you guys then it will be someone else, so you're playing for your livelihoods'.

"If that was me, it would give me the focus to make sure I was here for the next couple of years.

"It's all about moving the club forward and getting clarity on how we are going to do it, right from the top right down to the bottom."

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