Martin Canning thanks Hamilton Accies board for sticking by him

Hamilton celebrate
Hamilton secured their Premiership status for another season

Hamilton manager Martin Canning paid tribute to his board for sticking by him after he secured the club's Premiership status for another year.

Greg Docherty's goal in 64 minutes was enough to give the Accies a 1-0 play-off win over Dundee United.

"I'm thankful to the guys upstairs because at certain points over the past two years I could have been let go," Canning told BBC Scotland.

"But, they stood by me because the club has a model that they stick to."

Docherty won it with a fine strike from Ali Crawford's excellent set-up work.

Simon Murray went close to an equaliser for United, but Accies, who were promoted to the Premiership in 2014 thanks to a play-off final win over Hibernian, will make it a fourth successive season in the top flight.

"Every season we're tipped to go down and that's the last three we've managed to stay in the league," said Canning. "It's a record for the club to stay in the league this long. We deserve to be here.

"The league doesn't lie - so many times we've been in a similar position and haven't been able to see it through and it's ironic that our downfall through the season has been our greatest achievement today, that we kept a clean sheet after going a goal up.

"You know the first goal is going to be so important and thankfully we managed to get it.

"The club tries to get players in with the right appetite, that they want to work. You saw the team spirit today. The fans gave us great backing and I'm delighted for them."

The New Douglas Park side will likely begin next season as favourites to go down again, but Canning says most of his preparation is already done for the new campaign.

He said: "The budget is important but the majority of our work for next season is done.

"We'll be in tomorrow and we'll get a wee chat. I've told the players to enjoy tonight."

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