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Inverness boss John Hughes says semi-final pressure is on Celtic

Inverness 1-1 Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Inverness boss John Hughes claims all the pressure is on Celtic in next week's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.

The teams shared the spoils in a Scottish Premiership dress rehearsal at the Tulloch Caledonian stadium on Saturday.

Striker Leigh Griffiths opened the scoring for the league leaders in the third minute before Edward Ofere levelled just over a minute later from close range.

Inverness keeper Dean Brill, back in the side for the first time in 11 weeks after recovering from a knee problem, dislocated the same knee in the 15th minute.

He was replaced by Ryan Esson, who denied the visitors with a couple of fine saves to leave third-placed Caley with four points from three meetings with the League Cup winners, whose desire to capture the treble has been the theme of their season.

It is those Celtic hopes and expectations which leads Hughes to believe his side will be the more relaxed next Sunday.

"We have earned the right to have a good go in a semi-final," said the former Hoops defender.

"They know that they are going to have to be at their best and if they are off it and we are at it, then there could be an upset.

"We have nothing to lose. All the pressure is on Celtic. They are going for the treble. We will go there and give it a good go."

Celtic take on Kilmarnock at home on Wednesday night before turning their attention to the semi-final but Griffiths is looking forward to playing on the newly-laid Hampden pitch.

He said: "Credit to Inverness, they gave us a good game and I think they will be giving us an even harder game next week.

"Both teams will be a lot different next week. The pitch plays a big factor, it was bobbly, it was dry but next week will be totally different."

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