Inverness boss John Hughes bracing himself for tough test on return to Easter Road

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Inverness manager John Hughes insists Hibs’ recent barren patch will have no bearing on Sunday’s Scottish Cup clash at Easter Road.

Hughes will return to Leith for the quarter-final tie for the first time since vacating his role as Hibs manager in October 2010.

And Scottish Cup holders Inverness will bid to prolong the Leith outfit’s miserable run of form after Alan Stubbs’ side all but fell out of the Championship title running with three successive league loss, the latest coming in Tuesday’s set-back at Queen of the South.

Easter Road Front 1000px
Hughes returns to Easter Road on Sunday

But Hughes, who led Hibs to a fourth place finish and Europa League place in 2010, is bracing himself for a tough test.

He said: “It’s a big game on Sunday, we’re the holders of the Scottish Cup and we’re going to Hibs.

“They’re on a bad run at this moment in time but they’ll probably be looking forward and that’s exactly what they’ll need playing against a Premiership team.

“It will be a real difficult match, one that we’re more than capable of winning.”

Hughes, whose side were beaten 2-0 at Hearts on Tuesday, added: “There was a lot of good stuff but we need to start creating more chances, get more balls into the box and show more bravery to go and get on the end of it.

“I am really disappointed we didn’t work their goalkeeper.

“We were badly lacking in the final third for someone to unlock that door or give us that spark.

“It’s something we are going to have to go and look at in terms of maybe coming up with a different shape just to give us a little bit more impetus in the final third.”

Hughes, meanwhile, is hoping to have defender Josh Meekings and midfielder James Vincent available for the Easter Road showdown.

The pair have been sidelined for over two months with knee problems.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Hughes added: “Vincent and Meekings should have been on the bench against Hearts, we thought about it and left them out but they’ll certainly come into contention for Sunday.”

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