Hamilton Academical: Boss Alex Neil targets victory over Celtic

Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil
Player-manager Alex Neil took over at Hamilton in 2013 following the departure of Billy Reid

Hamilton manager Alex Neil hopes his in-form side's free-flowing style will earn them a win over Celtic on Sunday.

Accies go into the match second top of the Premiership after winning five of their eight games, including a 4-0 victory over local rivals Motherwell.

And player-boss Neil says his charges will be going for a victory.

"We'll try to impose our game on Celtic, I'd be doing myself and the team a disservice if I tried to change that for any game," Neil said.

"We won't be going to play for a draw. The team we have at the moment, we're not a gritty team that sit in and make it difficult, we're an expansive team that want to go and play, and we have great technical players.

"Confidence is sky high and it doesn't get any better than beating your local rivals at their own place."

Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil
"The only way our players are going to get better is by trying to get the ball down and play good football. That's how you improve as a player - you're not going to improve by just getting it and banging it from back to front."

Accies ended a two-year absence from Scotland's top flight when they won promotion last season with a play-off victory over Hibernian.

And they have already won as many games this term as they did in the entire 2010-11 campaign, when they were relegated.

Neil, 33, took over as player-manager in 2013 after the departure of Billy Reid, and he is committed to a passing style of football with his young side.

"The players have adapted to what we've tried to do over the last year-and-a-bit," Neil told BBC Scotland. "And a lot of them now have plenty of games under their belts and are showing their real potential at the top level of Scottish football.

"We don't really set any goals. First and foremost we wanted to make sure we were going to compete in the league and now we have started so well, we want to try to maintain that for as long as we can.

Mickael Antoine-Curier nets the third goal in Hamilton's 4-0 derby win over Motherwell
Mickael Antoine-Curier nets the third goal in Hamilton's 4-0 derby win over Motherwell

"The big thing for us is to go and try to win every game we play. We don't want to just settle for a draw or sitting in and making it difficult - we want to go and express ourselves.

"The only way our players are going to get better is by trying to get the ball down and play good football. That's how you improve as a player - you're not going to improve by just getting it and banging it from back to front.

"We want to play in the right manner but you have to get the balance right as we need to pick up as many points as we can."

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