John Hughes has told his Ross County youngsters to view Josh Reid as the benchmark if they want to make the grade in his Staggies first-team.
The 18-year-old left-back has joined Coventry for a “significant undisclosed fee” after breaking into the Dingwall outfit’s starting line-up earlier this season.
Promoted by ex-boss Stuart Kettlewell, he has gone on to make 24 appearances, with his impressive displays now earning him his move to the Sky Blues.
And Hughes hopes the speedy progress Reid has made in his career will act as a spur to other old academy pupils still striving for action with County.
He said: “Since I have come in I have seen that there is a really bright future ahead for Josh.
“He now has a fantastic opportunity to go and develop at a level beyond.
“We all have to look at Josh’s story and say that it is the benchmark for young players’ development and what can be achieved when you put in the effort and hard work. I am delighted for him and look forward to seeing him kick on.”
Reid has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal after impressing Coventry boss Mark Robins.
But the youngster admits he will be sad to leave his hometown club.
He said: “I would like to thank everybody who has helped me through my years at Ross County.
“All of the volunteers, coaches and staff that have believed in me and supported me through every step of the journey. I would also like to thank our fans – I wasn’t able to play in front of as many fans as I would have liked to this season but your support to the club and me individually has been incredible and will always remain with me.”
Meanwhile, Hughes hopes Jordan White can add some firepower to County’s survival fight after signing the striker on a deal to the end of the season.
The 28-year-old former Inverness frontman has returned to the Highlands after being released by Motherwell.
He registered 20 appearances for the Steelmen after signing back in the summer but failed to find the net during his six months at Fir Park.
However, Hughes believes the 6ft 4ins target man can add a new dimension to the Staggies front line as they look to climb above White’s old side and out of the bottom two in the weeks ahead.
White was Caley Thistle’s top scorer for two seasons running before making his move to Lanarkshire last year, and Hughes has backed his new recruit to rediscover the form he showed during his stay on the other side of the Kessock Bridge.
He said: “Jordan comes to us with good experience and hunger.
“At 28 he will be one of the more experienced players in the group and can have a big part to play between now and the end of the season.
“If you look at his career, he has scored goals but has also been a focal point for the teams he has played with and somebody that can offer something different to us.”