Hamilton 0-4 Kilmarnock: Lee Clark proud but staying focused

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark congratulates his players
It was Lee Clark's second win as Kilmarnock manager

Kilmarnock's players can congratulate themselves but not take their eye off the prize after beating Hamilton Accies 4-0, says manager Lee Clark.

The win lifts the second-bottom side to within four points of their hosts with three games remaining as they compete to avoid a relegation play-off.

"My team are very proud of themselves and rightly so," said Clark.

"They have been terrific, but what we haven't got to do is get ahead of ourselves and get too excited."

Partick Thistle, who were thumped 4-1 at home by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, are also not safe from finishing second bottom and are Kilmarnock's visitors next weekend.

"We've won a game of football, we've won it very well," Clark told BBC Scotland.

"Now we are focusing on Partick Thistle and have forgotten about Hamilton very quickly.

"We've got three more of our Champions League finals - that's what I keep calling them - and we've got to go again next weekend.

"I would love to still be in Hamilton's position - four points ahead of us - but we know, if we can look after our results from now until the end of the season, it gives ourselves a fighting chance to not be involved in the play-offs."

Greg Kiltie scored Kilmarnock's first two goals and Kris Boyd added the third from the penalty spot.

However, Clark picked out midfielder Craig Slater and former Josh Magennis, who scored the fourth goal, for special praise after their return to the side after illness and injury respectively.

"We went with an attacking formation, we were a little bit more offensive, but the players who played in those positions did a terrific job without the ball and the lads who came in were magnificent," said the Kilmarnock manager.

"Josh Magennis again shows you the threat he's got and Craig Slater I thought was really good. His work with and without the ball show that he is a top young prospect in Scottish football."

'Not good enough' from Accies

Hamilton's players and manager Martin Canning complain
Hamilton's players and manager Martin Canning complained about the opening goal

Hamiltonplayer-manager Martin Canning was left rueing what he believed was a mistake by officials for the opening goal, with his players claiming that Kiltie had run the ball out of play before scoring.

"It definitely had and it's really disappointing that the officials get that wrong because it's such a big decision and such a big game," he said.

"The first goal in this type of game is always going to be of massive importance.

"If they couldn't see it, they couldn't see it, that's part of football, but for me that's why they're there - to get big decisions right."

However, Canning accepted that his side's performance was not good enough as they sought a third straight victory that would have ensured that they avoided a play-off.

"Our use of the ball for a side that prides ourselves on getting it down and passing it was miles away from what I expect," he added.

"Our players knew the importance of the game, they were up for the game.

"They know they have let themselves down. It was an opportunity for us to guarantee our safety and they haven't taken it."

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