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Birmingham v Inverness

Saturday, 02 August 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

Inverness pair take acclaim

John Hughes picked out two players for praise after a 2-0 SPFL win at Hearts gave him a first victory as Inverness manager.

Last Updated: 14/12/13 at 19:47 Post Comment

John Hughes: 'Soft spot' for winger Watkins

John Hughes: 'Soft spot' for winger Watkins

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Billy McKay scored both the second-placed visitors' goals, the second laid on a plate by winger Marley Watkins - a free signing from Hereford in the summer.

Both men caught the eye of Hughes, who said: "Billy is an exceptional talent and a lovely kid to go and work with.

"He certainly has that quality in his locker and showed that with a great right-foot and a left-foot finish.

"And Marley Watkins was different class. I have a soft spot for him because he is still a young kid and has been given the opportunity to come up here by Terry Butcher. He really gets himself involved.

"When he plays like he did today he is a real handful. He has all the tricks - stepovers, dragbacks. If I am looking to help him along, I would just say I'd like more goals out of him."

Beaten Hearts remain 14 points adrift at the bottom, and boss Gary Locke's mood was not helped by an Achilles injury suffered by Jamie Walker.

"It never rains, but it pours," said Locke, who is already without Ryan Stevenson, Jason Holt and Mark Ridgers.

"If there's one player at the moment who looks a right good goal threat for us, then it's Jamie Walker - and we lose him.

"With Ryan out, that's two players in a small squad who are capable of getting us goals. To have the two of them missing was a blow for the second half.

"I certainly hope not, but it's an Achilles injury and we might have to wait another 24 hours to see what happens."

Of the game, he said: "I thought we contributed but the difference at this level is in the final third and they have a player who can score goals - Billy McKay."

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