Hamilton to persevere with youth

Tomas Cerny saved a penalty from Chris Maguire during the 1-1 draw at New Douglas Park
Cerny saved a penalty but Hamilton could not find a first home win of the season

Manager Billy Reid is braced for losing some of his best players as Hamilton edge nearer relegation.

A 1-1 draw with Aberdeen leaves the Accies nine points adrift with just four games remaining.

"We will go with a core of young players," Reid told BBC Scotland. "It's the only way for this size of club.

"We need experience too but I might not be able to influence that. If key players move on to bigger clubs, it's just the way it is for us."

Goalkeeper Tomas Cerny has been a consistently impressive performer for Accies and caught the eye again with a string of good saves against Aberdeen, including a penalty stop from Chris Maguire.

Nigel Hasselbaink was lively up front, setting up the opening goal for Dougie Imrie, and skipper Alex Neil was influential in midfield.

Neil has missed most of the season through injury and his absence has been sorely felt by Reid.

"That's five games he's played this season," explained the manager. "You see the difference he makes, he's a leader and he makes the team tick.

"You have to remember he's been out for a year, he's a fantastic player."

"I lost James McArthur and James Wesolowski to English clubs last summer - to lose Alex was a killer blow."

Reid is not conceding defeat in the battle against the drop to Division One but Neil was taking a more pragmatic view, given Accies have won just three games all season.

"It's been coming for a long time and it's our own fault," was his response when asked about relegation.

"We got ourselves into a winning position and once again we threw it away. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot

"We're not as solid as we should be and that's why we are not winning games."

Following Cerny's penalty save, Hamilton were on course for a first home win of the season when Imrie scored after 64 minutes but Nick Blackman levelled the game 10 minutes later.

"I was really disappointed with the way we played in the first 20 minutes but once we changed our formation and put Alex Neil in the middle of the park we got control of the game," explained Reid.

"I'm not too sure that's a penalty. But once again it's gone against us. Thankfully, Cerny made a great save and I thought maybe it is our day.

"We looked a threat going forward then we got the goal.

"But we were toiling a bit at the back and Chris Maguire caused us a lot of problems.

"We've been in the lead so many times and haven't been able to hold on and it was the same again today.

"We don't have a player over 30 in the team and it shows at times when we lack the experience to do the right thing.

"But my players gave me everything and as a manger you can't ask for any more than that."