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Brian Rice & Mickel Miller post match Saturday

Head Coach Brian Rice and opening goalscorer Mickel Miller spoke to the press following the victory against Hearts.

Brian Rice

The win bonus in time for Christmas can’t be bad?

“A win bonus at anytime can’t be bad. I don’t normally say this when we win games but I thought we thoroughly deserved to win the match. Our second half performance was outstanding. The two goals that we scored and I was just looking at the team just now. At the time when I brought Lewis Smith off the bench, that was the youngest ever Hamilton team that’s been in the Premiership. Alex Gogic at twenty-five was the oldest player in the side. They all put a shift in. I don’t usually show my emotions. When we get beat I’m okay and when we win I’m okay. I’m delighted for my lads today, absolutely delighted. For everything that they’ve been through in the last few weeks and they still manage to grind out the performances without getting a result. Today, we deserved to win today.”

Like men?

“I think we play like men most of the time. Our quality isn’t the best but I think the desire and spirit is there. The quality of the two goals was outstanding.”

Did you get the best out of Mickel when you moved him up and Davies came off, Lewis came on and got close to goal?

“Hearts were causing us a problem in the first twenty or twenty-five minutes. Our shape was wrong so I changed the shape. I put Mickel in behind the two strikers and it just opened the pitch up for him a little more. I know Mickel’s qualities. In the second half when I put him up front, there’s space in behind for him to run into. He’s quick and over the last six weeks he’s got himself fitter, stronger and he’s playing with a wee bit of confidence just now. And I think that his goal was scored with his right foot I think it was. It sums up his performance.”

He showed great determination to get the ball in for the second goal as well?

“Yes, that was an outstanding cross. It was an absolutely outstanding cross but I’m a great believer in we play as a team and win as a team. You get individual performances but everyone has got to contribute and I think that today, especially second half, everyone contributed to our win.”

Great stuff.

“I was going to say that nobody has mentioned any stats today. You lot usually come out with a stat like ‘You’ve not won in eleven games, you’ve not done this and you’ve not done that’.”

That’s why we were out.

“Is it?. Cheers lads, have a good Christmas.”

 

 

Mickel Miller

Can you talk us through the goal? It was a peach of a strike.

“I don’t remember the build up but everyone is saying that Steve played in to Geo and then Geo around the corner to me, and once I’d taken my first touch I thought I’d just have a shot. And it worked in my favour.”

It seemed to open up for you a little bit too. It was almost an invitation for you to have a go, was it not?

“Oh, I know. I think the game opened up for both teams a bit. Everyone thought that we had to go for it. It worked in our favour and got the result.”

You got a good assist in the second half as well. It could have been a lost cause when you’ve got the ball down in that corner.

“I know.”

It was some cross you managed to put in.

“I didn’t see it to be fair as I went off the pitch, I fell off the pitch and didn’t even see it. I just heard the crowd and it  was a good shout from Will to get into the box and stuff. So yes, it was all positive.”

The game obviously had a lot riding on it, given the fact that the team that lost would go bottom. What does this do for Accies? Just in terms of the points tally. Psychologically.

“It’s massive for us. Like I said, for the past few weeks we’ve been having it hard and everyone’s been a bit down. Today has been a huge confidence boost for us and we’ll now take that into the next couple of games which are going to be hard too. Nothing comes easy but if we can take that second half into the games, then I’m sure we’ll do well.”

The manager has said that he’s always been happy with the attitude of the players even though results haven’t gone your way. How much of today’s result do you think is down to attitude? You had a sticky start to the match and Hearts closed the first half pretty strongly. You were up against it at the start of the second half but still got a result.

“Yes, we don’t doubt our work rate and attitude. Everyone is always together and we work hard for each other. I just think that we lack a bit of belief at times and the gaffer is always saying ‘believe more’, because we’ve got the ability to do it. We just need to believe in ourselves and think this way from the start to the finish. If we can then I think we’ll do well.”

Have you failed to have that?

“I’m alright. Every game just enjoy it. Like every game you just don’t know when it’s going to end. Just enjoy it and everything will be alright.”

Is that attitude the difference between you and them today do you think?

“Yeah, I think I saw a few of them begin to get on each other’s back. Obviously with us and them down there it’s going to be like that. In hard times you’ve got to be together and stay positive. We don’t get on each other’s backs.”

You must have sensed when that goal went in for 1-0 that they fell apart quite quickly and lost their focus and allowed you to take advantage for a period?

“I didn’t really pay too much attention to them. I just tried to think of the two goal lead because in the past we’ve slipped up and let teams back in. We kept it together today and even when they scored, it just reinforced that we have to stay tight at the back. Loads of positives to take even from that.”

They had a wee chance at the end as well.

“Just a little mistake that we need to cut out.”

 

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