St Johnstone 0-1 Hamilton: Alex Neil relaxed about January bids

Hamilton manager Alex Neil
Alex Neil has guided his Hamilton side to third place in the Premiership table

Hamilton manager Alex Neil insists he is not worried about possible January bids for his impressive youngsters.

Neil watched his side go third in the Premiership as Tony Andreu's goal gave them a 1-0 win at St Johnstone, who had James McFadden sent off.

And he will not lose any sleep amid reports that Ali Crawford, Stephen Hendrie and Andreu are attracting interest from elsewhere.

"If people come in, and the money is right, players may move on, but I'm hoping to keep the side together," Neil told BBC Scotland.

"If I don't, that's what my job is anyway, to give young lads a chance and hopefully they can go and prove they're good enough to move on to the next level.

"We won't spend money on anyone, what we'll do is give players an opportunity if maybe they've not done so well elsewhere, and we'll bring them and hopefully make them better, and give them a platform to play, or we'll bring our young kids through.

"The last two games we've picked up two victories. The pitch wasn't the best today but over the 90 minutes I thought we were the better side.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright.
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright felt James McFadden was unlucky to be sent off

"We took the lead through a great goal from Tony and had a couple of other chances we should have done better with. To come here, a difficult venue, especially with the run they've been on, and to win the game is really pleasing.

"I'm a bit disappointed we didn't get a second goal, at the start of the second half we had a few chances and we could have added the second goal.

"We're just enjoying it and taking each game as it comes. After beating St Johnstone today, we must be setting our sights on the top six now, that's a realistic target. We're on 39 points, so we're a point off almost guaranteed safety. If we continue to perform the way we have, the top six is achievable for us."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright said: "We showed a lot more urgency in the second half and created a lot more pressure, without creating a lot of clear-cut opportunities from open play. From set plays and corners we we did cause them problems but the performance fell short of where we've been.

"James got two yellows and the referee is adamant they're both yellows. The second one was a foul on McFadden and he's fallen down and catches the player, I think it's a soft yellow but he's given the decision.

"There was a lot of things he [referee Andrew Dallas] missed, there was a lot of elbows flying about and he missed all that. A lot of tackles on McFadden today, and we're trying to protect players like that, and I don't think he got much protection today.

"For him to get two yellows, and the second was particularly soft, is disappointing. We certainly don't agree with it but it's done and there's nothing we can do about it."

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