BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Miles Storey insists John Hughes is the perfect man to revitalise his career – because the Inverness manager is just like fiery Italian Paolo Di Canio.
Storey, 21, enjoyed the best spell of his career working under the former Celtic and AC Milan striker, tasting first-team football as a teenager and even bagging two goals in a Capital One Cup clash against Aston Villa.
His progress stalled after Di Canio’s departure in February 2013 and a series of loan spells have followed, with the pacy front-man turning out for Salisbury, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Newport County in recent campaigns.
However, Storey reckons he has finally found a platform to shine in the Highlands after heaping praise on the work ethic and man management Hughes.
Storey said: “The gaffer [Hughes] is quite similar to Paolo Di Canio in terms of the discipline they instil, which I really like.
“As a player, I think that discipline is important and, if it’s not there, then things start to waver in a dressing room.
“I like the way John Hughes goes about his business. Like Di Canio, he makes us work hard in training. It’s very intense. When you get home after a day’s training you really feel it.
“It means the boys are really fit and I think it will shine through at the end of games.”
However, it has been far from a reign of terror under ‘Yogi’, with Storey – who is on loan form Swindon until January – encouraged to play with a sense of freedom as he attempts to recapture his best form.
The former England under-19 internationalist continued: “The manager has told me to express myself and it’s great to have that support behind me.
“It means if something doesn’t quite work then there will be no shouting at me or anything like that. That is a breath of fresh air.”
Storey’s biggest challenge to date north of the border will come on Saturday when Inverness host league leaders Aberdeen.
The clash will bring the striker face-to-face with a former Robins teammate, Dons top-scorer Adam Rooney.
He recalled: “I know Adam well because he was at Swindon with me. He used to keep me on the bench quite a bit when he was playing down there!
“It will be good to catch up with him after the game. He has been on fire since he’s been at Aberdeen. He’s a terrific natural goal-scorer.
“He’s strong, holds the ball up well and he’s dangerous in the box so we will have to deal with that on Saturday.”
Referencing his own missed penalty in the League One playoff semi-final defeat against Brentford in 2013, he added: “Adam definitely never misses a penalty!”
Despite Aberdeen boasting a 100 per cent record, Storey is adamant Hughes’ side will not approach the daunting contest with any trepidation.
He continued: “It will be a tough game against Aberdeen because they’re flying – but there is no reason why we can’t pull off a result. It will be good to see where we stand and measure our own progress when we come up against them.”