JOHN HUGHES outlined his vision for Dunfermline Athletic and joked that "if they play with the same energy I talk, we'll be some team!"

The new boss has lofty ambitions to take the club back to the Scottish Premiership but his sole task this season is to stop them dropping into the third tier.

Hughes has been given a rescue mission with the team lying at the bottom of the Championship but took time to praise Peter Grant, who was axed last month after just five months in the hotseat.

He said: "Although it never worked out for Peter, he's left a right good foundation for me to come in.

"I've been in touch with him. He's a gentleman and is always the first guy who texts when you win.

"He was the first guy to say, 'My advice is to go and have a look and assess things yourself, then you know where I am'."

Hughes, who has managed clubs such as Falkirk, Hibs, Inverness and Raith, helped Ross County beat the drop last season and said it was a similar scenario at Dunfermline, with confidence at a low ebb after not winning games.

He's enthused by the challenge and said: "It's maybe one of the reasons I got the job. I've got that know-how, how to get the best out of players individually and collectively, and that's what I intend to do."

Hughes continued: "You have to play with that pride.

"Make sure if you've got that jersey, no-one is getting it off you. No-one.

"You have to be the best professional, live for your football 24/7. That's the values I'm trying to set at the club.

"I might try and tell it in different ways, I might put sugar on the top, I might cuddle them or kick them up the backside, but it's all the same messages.

"It's about sticking together and giving it everything you've got and I saw that on Saturday."

Ahead of the win at Inverness, in an interview for the club website, the 57-year-old said bottom-of-the-league Dunfermline were "the laughing stock of Scottish football" and looked on as a "soft touch" by those in the game.

If it was was meant to provoke a reaction, it worked perfectly as the following day, the team claimed their first league win of the season.

Hughes admitted psychology was "100 per cent" a part of his approach and said: "I'm getting into their heads.

"I think it's a part of the game we don't delve into and you need to use those mental tools to put you in a good mindset so you cannot wait to get that strip on.

"Go and perform and have a great belief in what you're doing. We're still putting all the right messages into them, all positive."

Hughes spoke to the players before the game and at half-time but said all the credit for the win at Inverness should go to his "absolutely fantastic" coaches Steven Whittaker and Greg Shields.

He wants to keep them on board and said: "These two guys are here first thing in the morning and still there last thing at night.

"That win is for them.

"I've been in the (coaching) game 18 years and they're doing stuff I'm not good at.

"What I'm good at, I can do, so we're a good team.

"These guys get a say in what we're doing and what the team is. I've got the final say but they know the players and you have to use their knowledge."

Hughes said the squad was good enough to avoid relegation and praised Graham Dorrans as the "best player at the club", said Dom Thomas was "different class" and that Rhys Breen had "a real chance in the game".

Hughes said: "The players need to realise that Graham Dorrans in our team, fully fit, can do something special.

"I've not decided if he's playing on Saturday though!"

It's been a "whirlwind" start to life at Athletic and he said: "It's a real family club.

"The people involved are passionate Dunfermline supporters and just want the best for it.

"We're going to have to dig really deep to take it where we want it to go but there's so much in place, it makes my job easier.

"We all know what the long-term aim is, to get back into the Premiership, but short-term, it's just to keep a clean sheet.

"Keep a clean sheet in training, be the best on the training pitch, keep those standards and that repetition and hopefully go and do it on a Saturday."