Hamilton 0-1 Motherwell: McGhee praises Laing's recovery

By John BarnesBBC Scotland at New Douglas Park

Mark McGhee paid tribute to unlikely goal hero Louis Laing for clinching Motherwell's victory in the Lanarkshire derby and overcoming his demons.

Laing recently admitted he had felt like quitting football after being unable to hold down a regular place.

But the defender struck the only goal of Motherwell's crucial triumph over rivals Hamilton Academical, moving them to seventh place in the Premiership.

"I think in his own head he had lost his way a little bit," said McGhee.

"He looked to me as if every time the ball was in his vicinity he was having an out of body experience, watching everything and making mistakes."

But McGhee feels the former Nottingham Forest player has eradicated those negative thoughts by grasping the chance to get his career back on track.

"We've brought him back to ground," the manager told BBC Scotland. "He's now playing within himself and he'll benefit greatly from this match, being part of a win away from home and scoring the winning goal.

"It'll be a huge boost for him but he's worked hard to get back to here. Louis has come out of his shell. The day I arrived at the club I looked at him as a player who had huge potential as he's got such ability for a big lad.

"I've worked closely with Charlie Mulgrew at Aberdeen and Scotland and I look at Louis and see him having the same strengths with a range of passing."

Antons Kurakins and Scott McDonald
Hamilton Academical have not won at home in 11 matches

Hamilton Academical player-manager Martin Canning felt his side's deficiencies in front of goal cost them dearly.

"There wasn't very much in it," said Canning. "I think in the first half we had the two or three best opportunities by a long distance and if you go in 1-0 up it's a different game.

"But we don't take our chances and at this level the other team's going to create something and they did. They have taken their chance and that's what has won them the game."

Accies have now gone 11 home games without a victory and remain only two points above the relegation play-off spot.

"I don't know why we can't win at home," added Canning. "Again today we had enough opportunities to go and win the game. Putting the ball in the back of the net is so important and we're not doing it regularly enough just now.

"We always knew it was going to be a difficult season. Every game becomes more important now and we've got to refocus, regroup and go again against Inverness next Saturday."

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