Graham Alexander knows Motherwell have been second-best in the derby this season – but his side’s first win over Hamilton this season is a good moment.
The Fir Park club secured their Scottish Premiership safety with the 1-0 win over their 10-man rivals, Mark O’Hara netting the winner after Ronan Hughes’ dismissal. Hamilton had won all three derbies prior to the Motherwell victory by an aggregate scoreline of 8-1.
Alexander says it’s a boost for his side as they look towards a Scottish Cup quarter-final with Hibs at Easter Road this weekend: “I’m really pleased with the result. Obviously we came here to win the game, we knew it was going to be tough, the last game was exceptionally tough, and the record this season against them hasn’t been great at all.
So we had to come here, be dogged, be aggressive, compete, and do all the basics well, which I think we did, and scored the goal that won the game. We changed the shape a little bit, to compete against them in a way we felt would win the game and we’ve done that.
“The players deserve all the credit because it has been a tough season, certainly against Hamilton, our local rivals, the rivalry that goes between the two clubs. We’ve been second-best all season, but we weren’t here, and that’s really pleasing.
“If you take the Kilmarnock game out of it we’ve been on a really good run of winning games, but we don’t want to relax at all. We’ve tried to keep the pressure on within ourselves, to make sure we keep our foot to the floor, and we try to win every game we compete in.”
Brian Rice’s Hamilton are five points from safety and two points way from a relegation play-off match. But while he knows the task will be ‘difficult’ for Accies, he backs his side to move off bottom and survive.
When asked if Hamilton can survive, Rice said: “Of course we can. Nothing is decided. It just makes it more difficult for us. We have said that in the dressing room. It just makes it more difficult and we just need to go harder, go quicker and we need to go stronger.
“It was a poor goal for us to lose because there wasn’t any real danger. We couldn’t break them down and we never had enough craft to break them down. We lacked creativity. Against Dundee United, we showed composure, we got the ball down and we got it into areas.
“We worked on getting it into areas and we didn’t really do that first-half. We were better at it in the second half but there weren’t really many chances in the game. They are all hard games and we know that. We’ve got an idea of what we need to do and we are open about things – players have their say and I have my say.”
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