sport

Warren backs Hughes to deliver

Inverness defender Gary Warren believes new boss John Hughes is on the verge of something special.

The former Falkirk and Hibernian manager took charge of Caley Thistle for the first time on Saturday as they drew 0-0 with St Mirren in Paisley.

Hughes preferred to let coaches Duncan Shearer and Scott Kellacher take charge of the side from the dug-out while he watched on from the St Mirren Park stands.

But Warren believes Hughes has the right type of personality to make a success of the job left for him by Terry Butcher's departure.

He said: "We've lost a big character in Terry but we've got another big character replacing him.

"The gaffer now is full of life and full of energy. He has plenty of passion as well and is similar to Terry.

"He is going to make something special here but now it is up to us to keep playing as we have been and then see where we end up."

Saints, who lost 3-0 in Inverness on the opening day of the season, were the better side in the first half and the Highlanders had to rely on goalkeeper Dean Brill to twice deny Steven Thompson, while Warren also headed off the line from Conor Newton's drive.

Brill's first save was an instinctive block with his right wrist following a flowing move from the home team, while the second was even more impressive as the Englishman pushed Thompson's drive onto his left-hand post.

But Shearer's half-time words clearly had the desired effect and Caley Thistle came out a much more compact side.

They had their own chance to claim the points when Marley Watkins also hit the woodwork with a header but in the end neither side could find a breakthrough.

Newton later admitted St Mirren should have claimed the victory.

He said: "We had a fair few chances in the first half and could have scored a few goals. But we didn't take them and we paid for it in the end because we could have won the game.

"It's always going to be tough playing against Inverness because they are second in the league for a reason.

"But we more than matched them and were unlucky not to get the three points."

On-loan Newcastle midfielder Newton is due to return to St James' Park in January but having spent six months with the Buddies last term - and also scoring as the club lifted the League Cup back in March - the Magpies youngster says he is happy to stay where he is for the rest of the season.

"I'm not sure what is happening," said the 22-year-old. "But my performances have picked up and I'm just happy to be getting a run of games.

"If it is to continue for another six months then I'm more than happy for that.

"However, it's up to the powers-that-be down the road and here at St Mirren to try and thrash things out."