Hibernian 1-1 Inverness: Caley Thistle spirit delights Hughes

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Easter Road

Inverness manager John Hughes says the spirit in the visitors' dressing room helped pull them level in the Scottish Cup quarter-final with Hibernian.

Hughes says a draw was just about fair after they came back from a goal down at Easter Road.

"I felt we were the better team for the opening 25 minutes but Hibs' goal came when they were on top," said Hughes.

"I felt we were lacking a little bit up top but we have great team spirit and effort and I can't ask for anymore."

The holders will welcome Hibs to Inverness for a replay on 16 March and the winner will face Dundee United at the semi-final stage, which will take place over the weekend of 16 and 17 April.

Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs, meanwhile, believes his side's display was encouraging after a three-match losing run, particularly with Sunday's League Cup final against Ross County beckoning.

Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs
Stubbs led Hibs to last season's semi-finals

"We're disappointed we haven't gone through," said Stubbs. "If anything, we maybe just shaded it but I thought it was a close game.

"Inverness are not just a big, strong team, they play football, and it was a tough game. There weren't a lot of chances but I thought we had the better chances. But the most pleasing thing for me was the performance was much better, much more like us."

Hibernian striker James Keatings said he was disappointed his team were unable to hold on for a win.

Keatings scored the home side's only early in the second half only for Caley Thistle substitute Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo to fire home an equaliser with 13 minutes left.

"We are disappointed not to hold on," said Keatings. "We should have seen it out. It was a real battle, very stop-start but plenty of chances for both sides.

"We take confidence from this game though and will hope to do it in the replay."

Mbuyi-Mutombo said he was delighted to come on as a substitute and repay the faith shown in him by Hughes.

"The gaffer asked me to go and get into the box," he said. "It was a superb pass by Jordan Roberts and I pushed the ball out left before shooting and finding the net."