Hamilton: Alex Neil proud after 'magnificent' Celtic Park win

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland at Celtic Park

Alex Neil described Hamilton Academical's victory over Celtic as "the pinnacle" of their season so far.

Ali Crawford scored the only goal as Accies won at Celtic Park for the first time in 76 years to move top of the Scottish Premiership.

"It really was David versus Goliath," said player-manager Neil, 33.

"It's a magnificent achievement. Having such a young group, I was extremely proud of them. They were magnificent, right throughout the team."

Interview - Hamilton Academical boss Alex Neil

The Lanarkshire side have dropped only seven points since winning promotion to the top flight via last season's play-offs, but Neil insists their "excellent start" is in-keeping with his expectations.

"They don't surprise me, I think they surprise everybody else," he explained.

"I've had them since they were so young. I was the 17s coach, the 20s coach and now I'm the first-team coach.

"I've got complete faith and belief in them and I think it's the exact same with them towards me. They believe what I'm telling them is the right thing and, if they do it properly, they'll win the games.

"It's working for us at the moment.

"Our aim isn't to go and win the league. It's more about points for us. There are certain points tallies that you accumulate over the season and you know where that will roughly get you from years gone by. That's more what I'm looking at the moment.

"They [our targets] will only change once we get safe."

Though Neil did not make an appearances from the substitutions' bench, Neil was booked for dissent in the second half.

Hamilton Academical player-manager Alex Neil is booked by referee Steven McLean
Unused substitute Neil picked up a yellow card in the second half

"It was my token booking for every football game I'm involved in," he said in jest.

"I'm actually surprised that I wasn't booked when I was at Dundee v Aberdeen yesterday. I'm an animated figure. I want them to do so well for themselves and that's where that comes from."

And, of match-winning goalscorer Crawford, Neil said: "He's a terrific little talent.

"If you give Ali Crawford time and space to play, he's got real, real quality. He can hit off both feet, he's got a great range of passing and I think his work-rate and desire has improved considerably in the last season."

Accies' emphasis on passing and possession is similar to the style Celtic boss Ronny Deila has been seeking to implement at the Scottish champions.

And, although the Norwegian finds his team trailing the new league leaders by six points, Neil urged onlookers to judge Deila "in the second half of the season".

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