HAMILTON midfielder Darian MacKinnon reckons he has no hope of starting against Aberdeen on Friday night after watching his Accies’ team-mates perform miracles without him.
Alex Neil’s Scottish Premiership new boys have stunned the nation by storming to the summit of the top-flight table after nine games.
Their win at Celtic Park the weekend before last was their first victory over the Hoops in the East End of Glasgow since September 1938.
But MacKinnon – a virtual ever-present this term before being hit with a four-game ban for elbowing Dundee United’s Paul Paton – is bracing himself for another stint on the sidelines despite having now served his suspension.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s clash with the Dons at New Douglas Park, the former junior player said: “I don’t think I will get back into the team on Friday because the boys have been flying.
“I will probably be on the bench and have to work my way back in. But I can’t complain, it was my own stupidity which got me sent off.
“I’m desperate to get back in because you are quickly forgotten about, especially when the boys go on the sort of run they have.
“I will need to show patience. If any of the boys get flung out of the team, they would have every right to be upset. I fully understand I will have to bide my time to get back in.”
MacKinnon admits being banned was made all the more frustrating by the impressive form of his colleagues but he was still there to cheer them on as Ali Crawford’s Parkhead winner stretched their unbeaten run to ten games.
“Sitting in the stand has been a strange experience,” admitted the 28-year-old. “I was more nervous watching the lads than when I was out there playing. But I was cheering the boys on in every game. I was at Parkhead going mental in between the Celtic fans when we scored.”
MacKinnon has now vowed to clean up his act after his sending-off against United in the 2-2 draw at Tannadice last month.
The Accies battler walked after receiving two first-half bookings – but then his punishment was extended to four games after he was charged with violent conduct following an off-the-ball clash with Paton.
He said: “I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t think it was a deliberate elbow but I can see why I was given the red card. I have to accept it and curb that side of my game.
“I play on the edge but I went over the line that day and need to stop it, otherwise I will miss more games and get fined.”