Hamilton Academical: Martin Canning urges fans not to boycott Kilmarnock game

Hamilton boss Martin Canning urges his players on in their Scottish Cup win at Kilmarnock
Canning saw his side end a three-month winless run with a Scottish Cup win at Kilmarnock on Saturday

Hamilton player-manager Martin Canning admits he will be disappointed if some fans decide to go ahead with a boycott of their home game against Kilmarnock.

A group of Accies fans say they will stay away from the 4 February fixture as a protest against the team's current form and the club's signing policy.

Hamilton have not won any of their last 11 league games, and only two all season, and are a point off the bottom.

"Ideally you would like everyone behind you and supporting the team," he said.

"But that's obviously not the case on this occasion. All we can do as a group is continue to work hard and turn it around on the pitch and get winning games.

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Scottish Cup highlights: Kilmarnock 0-1 Hamilton

"We want to be higher up the league, no doubt, but if we stay in the Premiership again it would be a record.

"I think it would be the longest Hamilton have stayed in the Premiership consecutively in a long time so I don't think we're far away from breaking records if you like.

"So it's disappointing when you want everyone behind you to give us that little bit extra to try and get us across the line in some of these games. We would rather everybody was here doing that."

Accies spent three seasons in the top flight after gaining promotion in 2008, and after relegation in 2011, returned to the Premiership for the 2014-15 season.

Despite their lack of victories in the current campaign, Hamilton have only lost eight of their 21 Premiership games, with only three defeats coming by more than a single goal.

Hamilton players look dejected after their 3-0 home loss to Celtic
Accies were criticised after a meek 3-0 home defeat by Celtic on Christmas Eve

"It's such a tight competitive league," noted Canning, whose side ended their winless run with victory at Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup on Saturday. "But for two or three minutes of the season we would be sitting sixth.

"It's not been a case of losing games three, four or five-nothing and taking a lot of heavy defeats and beatings and we are really down in the dumps - I don't think that's the case.

"I think we have been very close on a number of occasions. With a little break and a little bit of luck at the right times, we could easily be four or five or six points better off and sitting mid-table."

'We punch above our weight'

Despite a relatively small fan base compared to other Premiership clubs, Canning believes Hamilton are doing all they can to maximise their potential.

"When you look at the size of the club, a lot of work goes in behind the scenes to try and generate as much money as we can to keep us competitive in the Premiership on the pitch," Canning explained.

"Everyone works so hard and - I know it is a phrase we probably use too often - but we punch above our weight in the Premiership and we need to continue to try and do that and work as hard as we can."

Hamilton will be without the suspended Michael Devlin and Massimo Donati for Saturday's Premiership match against St Johnstone in Perth.

Defender Canning may even reluctantly take a place on the bench himself, but his priority is strengthening the squad, with a vital home game against fellow strugglers Inverness next Tuesday, 31 January, before Kilmarnock's visit.

"Hopefully, we can get something done in the next day or two in the full-back positions and with the strikers we are speaking to," he added. "We're working hard on that and we'll have to wait to see if it comes off."

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