Feb 21 2013 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
Billy Reid has set his sights on taking three points from Livingston on Saturday.
But he has also told his Hamilton squad they’re playing for places in next week’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final clash against Falkirk.
Reid felt they did that in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat against Partick Thistle at Firhill, but wants his side to create more.
He said: “The games are coming up thick and fast. We’ve spoken about the cup game but before that we’ve got Livingston at home, who are a good side, and after that we’ve got two games a week; we’re going to need all of our players.
“You can feel it in the players that they want to play in the big cup game and Saturday’s game against Livingston will give them a chance to stake a claim, but I think they did that on Tuesday.
“I was a wee bit disappointed because in the first half when we got the ball we were a wee bit wasteful, but I can’t complain about the players – they dug right in and kept themselves in the game for long spells.
“I want my players to give me everything and I think they did that. Darian MacKinnon worked really hard in the middle of the park, shut people down, picked up his booking early doors and I told him to be disciplined, but he won his headers and his attitude is fantastic.
“I can’t fault too many of the players in terms of what they gave me.
“They worked really hard and we’ve lost to one of the top teams in the league on their home pitch to a penalty goal, so it’s a wee bit hard to take.
“However, we have no complaints as it was a stonewall penalty and if we’re honest, in the context of the game, they were probably the better side.”
Reid may now face a race against time to make sure defender Ziggy Gordon, captain Alex Neil and striker Jon McShane are fit for the visit of Livingston, from whom he expects a tough game.
Gordon limped off late in the game, Neil played through a calf injury for 70 minutes, and McShane took a knock against Thistle.
He said: “Beating Livingston won’t be easy; they’ve got some good players and some young guys who have gained a bit of experience.
“It will be a hard game but one we’re looking forward to.
“Jon McShane isn’t quite ready to play yet and he took a bang to his knee on Tuesday, so I’m a bit concerned about that, and Alex Neil was a doubt before the game with a calf problem.
“Ziggy picked up a knock and we took him off, but I think he’ll be OK.
“Andy Ryan has picked up an ankle injury playing headed tennis in training and he’s going to be out for four to six weeks, which is a huge blow as he was looking good. We hope McShane hasn’t taken a serious knock.”