John Hughes was proud to see solidarity shown in the recent Celtic v Rangers match – and the Staggies boss is pondering whether the knee is still an effective message.
Players and officials of Celtic, Dundee United, Rangers and Motherwell all stood during last weekend’s Scottish Premiership matches instead of taking the knee. Clubs have taken the knee this season in order to highlight the fight against racism, but after Gers midfielder Glen Kamara allegedly suffered racist abuse in a recent Europa League match with Slavia Prague, some feel a stronger message is needed.
The Scotland national team also stood before the match with Austria on Thursday. Hughes believes Celtic captain, and soon-to-be Aberdeen player-coach, Scott Brown sent an important message last weekend by meeting with Kamara on the park. And while discussions over the knee haven’t taken place at Ross County, Hughes has pondered.
He explained: “I can totally understand it as we are all onboard with it. The gesture from Scott Brown, even with all the Celtic v Rangers rivalry, it was fantastic. Even if he was told to do it for the PR, it was a good gesture from Glasgow Celtic.
“If it means standing, I know where that’s going. The knee has perhaps ran its course so now we are standing together in solidarity. It’s the next step, I am right behind anything people want to do.
“In society in general, we have to stick together. The knee has took long enough and now I think it’s a real powerful message to say we are standing. We’re taking it to the next step, we have done the knee, there’s still things happening, so we move on again and be united.”
Ross County aren’t back in action until next Friday in a televised Highland derby with Inverness CT in the Scottish Cup third round. After a disappointing performance in last weekend’s 1-0 loss to St Johnstone, Hughes will put demands on his players.
He said: “We want to keep going. Now that the post-split fixtures are out, we want to embrace that and look forward to it. We need to be a lot better but they haven’t let me down too much since I came to the club. We were miles off it against St Johnstone.
“But no matter how bad we were then, there seems to be a desire to hang in there and get something from matches. As a coach after a Saturday, you know what is required as a club. We are an open bunch.
“I am open to any suggestions that would give them that wee lift. We are looking at all sorts, can we be more demanding of them? Can we do double sessions? But it can’t be just for the sake of doing it.”
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