JOHN Hughes last night admitted Ross County’s shock win over quadruple treble winners Celtic has increased their belief they can secure their Premiership survival this season.

But Hughes, who replaced Stuart Kettlewell as manager in Dingwall back in December, has warned his players they can't let their standards drop in the final nine games of the 2020/21 campaign. 

The bottom-placed team in the top flight withstood relentless pressure from the visitors, but took the lead when Jordan White headed home a Harry Paton free-kick in the 71st minute.

The narrow win lifted the relegation-threatened Highlanders off the foot of the table and moved them above both Hamilton and Kilmarnock with nine games remaining. 

“I’m delighted with the result I’m delighted for the boys, with their effort, commitment and organisation, and their willingness to put their bodies on the line,” said Hughes.

“It was Glasgow Celtic we were playing against. Before the game there had to be an understanding that we couldn’t be wide open.

“Tactically, we were spot on. The goal was something we have been banging the drum about. We have to get the delivery spot on and I’m absolutely delighted Harry Paton’s delivery found big Jordan White peeling around the back. I thought Jordan was different class. He led the line very well.

“At the end we were hanging on, we were getting deeper and deeper, and flinging their bodies on the line. They all played  their part. Even the substitutes came on and helped us get over the line.”

He added: “It has to be like that from now until the end of the season. That’s my frustration, we seem to be all right against the teams in the top half, we have beaten Celtic, Hibernian and Aberdeen. Yet, we come unstuck against teams we need to beat around us.

“But that gives us confidence, momentum and a little bit of belief for the rest of the season to give it a right go. If they give me that effort, commitment and concentration level, I don’t think we will be too far away.

“It has to be a boost. But I tell you what, I’ll give them Monday off, but when they come in on Tuesday I’ll tell them, some of the passing was unacceptable. The result was different class, but don’t get too carried away. 

“Dont get too big for your boots. We’ve got another nine cup finals left this season, but if they give me that, we’ll be okay. They can’t get blase, they need to come in and show me what they have got if they want to play on Saturday."