Hamilton: Martin Canning becomes Accies' interim boss

Hamilton Accies player-manager Martin Canning
Martin Canning has made more than 200 appearances for Hamilton Accies

Martin Canning has been named caretaker player-coach of Hamilton Academical, the club have announced as Alex Neil was confirmed as Norwich City boss.

Frankie McAvoy, who has been Neil's assistant, will assist Canning before also moving to Carrow Road at the end of January.

Neil has backed Canning to be a success if he lands the job permanently.

"If Martin gets it, I think he'll do very well - and he's got a great bunch of lads up there," he said.

"Martin Canning is someone who is similar to myself and finds himself in a similar position to what I was in when I was given the job."

Neil, who had been a player at New Douglas Park after arriving from Mansfield Town in 2005, was appointed Accies player-manager on an interim basis to succeed Billy Reid in May 2013.

As the 33-year-old was introduced as Norwich boss by the English Championship club, Accies pointed out that an agreement had been reached between the clubs.

Martin Canning, Alex Neil and Frankie McAvoy celebrate with Hamilton
Canning will be assisted by Frankie McAvoy (right) before the latter joins Alex Neil (centre) at Norwich

Vice-chairman Ronnie MacDonald told Accies' website: "Alex has been a player here since June 2005, skippering the side to the First Division Championship in 2008, followed by three seasons in the top flight, and player-manager since April 2013, winning promotion via the play-offs last May and into what has been a successful Premiership campaign to date.

"He goes with the very best wishes of everyone here at New Douglas Park for continued success.

"In the meantime, current team captain Martin Canning will assume the player-coach role and take charge of first-team duties in the interim period, with Frankie McAvoy continuing to act as assistant for the time being.

"It is expected that Frankie will follow Alex to Norwich in due course."

Canning, who like Neil is 33, joined Accies in September 2008 after six months with Hibernian.

The Glaswegian defender, who previously played for Ross County, Peterhead and Gretna, has made 232 appearances for Accies and signed a new one-year contract in May.

He has been combining his playing duties, making 18 appearances this season, with coaching the Accies youth team.