Winning Ugly Will Do
Due to results last week, we find ourselves looking up the table at the rest of the teams in the league and the visit of Hamilton takes on a bit more significance given the respective position of both teams. It doesn't have to be pretty, it's points that matter.
We have hit rock bottom after defeat at Perth and from here on, the only way is up. It's still early days, but given our indifferent form and injury problems then it's difficult to see an instant solution to the mini crisis that we find ourselves in. Of course, we are not helping our cause by having key players suspended at a time when injuries are wreaking havoc with our continuity. Greg Tansey, Lewis Horner and now Gary Warren have all fallen foul of the beaks in the last few weeks and that was on top of injuries robbing us of Liam Polworth in midfield and with defenders David Raven and Brad Mckay out it has left us struggling to fill the vacancies.
Last time out we went down after an insipid display in Perth. It ended 3-0 to St Johnstone and we can have no complaints after Gary Warren was stupidly sent packing. Luxury midfielder Iain Vigurs has been taking some flak for his lackadaisical approach and inability to track back after giving away possession. This has been well documented in recent topics on the forum and it's something that needs addressed. The lack of protection for our overworked defence is one reason we are conceding more goals than ever.
As for the Accies, they once more let a lead slip after Alex D'Acol opened the scoring 15 minutes in. As is their trademark this season, they turned three points into one when Partick equalised through Welsh on the hour. We think our season is bad with only three wins to date, Well Accies can top that with just two wins. The reason they are above us is nine draws. They have the ability to turn defeats into draws, whereas we manage to turn draws into defeats. In saying that, there is only one point between the clubs. The league is so congested we could jump from 12th to 6th depending on other results provided we can beat Accies. On the other hand, defeat would be a bit of a mini disaster.
The first meeting between the clubs this season ended in stalemate but it took a very late Liam Polworth strike to snatch a point after D'Acol scored in the eighteenth minute. That ended a six game winning sequence at New Douglas Park for us and it was the second time in a week that Accies had thrown away a winning advantage.
Times have changed though and since Richie Foran won the manager of the month award in September, the curse has struck and we find ourselves floundering at the bottom, unable to stick together a run of results to steer clear of problems. It's the same for all the clubs in the lower part of the league though as only the top five are making any headway with Celtic the clear winners at this stage. They did everybody else a favour last night by beating Partick Thistle.
A chink of light at the end of the injury tunnel as news that Liam Polworth is making better than expected progress on his injured ankle and could return within the month or sooner. Even better news is that Brad Mckay could return against Accies to ease our defensive problems and on top of that Lewis Horner is free from suspension, albeit he is just a stop gap defender at the moment, but this will be seen as an opportunity to further his case for inclusion every week with David Raven out for at least another month. Gary Warren is suspended and that's a blow as our defence has been creaking all season. Up front Alex Fisher and Scott Boden are both out and that leaves big Lonsana Doumbouya on his lonesome again.
Accies have midfielder Gramos Kurtaj out for around a month with an ankle knock. Also out are long term absentees Remi Mathews (GK), Jesus Garcia and Craig Watson.
tm4tj prediction:- Oh dear, if ever we needed a morale boosting win, it has to be today against one of the other seven sides in fear of relegation. Below St Johnstone, nobody is safe and any side that can get a winning run going will feel an awful lot better. We are terrible at the back this season with an unsettled formation due to injuries and suspension. Our midfield is depleted and work shy and up front it's the same old same old with a lone striker and underachieving wide players I don't see much changing to be honest as we struggle to get players on the park. Accies have always given youth a chance and in Ali Crawford they have a match winner worth watching closely. We have never found it easy to get the better of Hamilton in the Highlands and I don't see it being any different today. As we find it embarrassingly difficult to keep a clean sheet, I'm going for a score draw as Accies dig in. Nothing new there.