Ross County have today announced the departure of John “Yogi” Hughes as manager following the end of his contract.
The news comes as a surprise to supporters after the Daily Record suggested that he was set to sign a new contract last week however, that was not to be the case.
Hughes joined County, in his first manager role since leaving Raith Rovers in 2017, last December whilst we sat bottom of the league after Stuart Kettlewell was relieved of his duties.
It was clear when he was appointed that he was given a short term deal till the end of the season with the sole aim of keeping County in the Scottish Premiership for next years campaign.
After a few high profile results, such as a win at Easter Road and home victories over Aberdeen and Celtic, Hughes had given the players a platform to save themselves from relegation. Which they eventually did winning the last three games of the season.
Yogi’s always been thought of highly for his enthusiasm for football and man management skills throughout his career. There is little doubt that he got the players on side, particularly for the final push for safety, and might have made the little difference in the players mentally as they found a way to come back from behind in the last two pivotal games of the season.
Under Kettlewell we managed 13 points in 18 games. Comparing this with Hughes, won managed to secure double this in the second half of the season picking up 26 points in the 18 games under his management. If County had played the entire season with the same points per game as we did under Hughes we would’ve ended up in a European spot. Obviously he did get to manage through the bottom six so it’s not just as simple as he did twice as well as Ketts but it is hard to deny there’s been a clear improvement in league performances.
Despite the improvement, Hughes did manage us through the abysmal 3-1 Highland Derby defeat in the cup and has had his tactics questioned by fans throughout many league games on top of this. This may be why some supporters have not been sold on the idea of him getting the job on a permanent basis for quite some time and could explain the mixed reaction to his departure seen particularly on Twitter throughout today.
He has been criticised for his squad recruitment before so going into a campaign with only six first team players signed up so far may have not been the best idea.
I guess we have to wait for the replacement to know truly how to feel about Yogi’s departure but he should certainly be thanked and commended for completing the job he was brought into do.