Ali Crawford is determined to inspire Hamilton to Premiership safety as an emotional parting gift after revealing he intends to quit New Douglas Park this summer.
The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season and, following 11 years in the Accies first team and more than 250 senior appearances under his belt, the gifted playmaker is seeking a fresh challenge away from Lanarkshire.
However, he has no intention of enduring the heartbreak of relegation as the curtain comes down on his Hamilton career.
“There have been no [contract] talks at all,” explained Crawford, pictured. “I am keeping my options open, so if they want to offer me a contract then fair enough – but I think I have paid my dues here. I have been here for 11 years now. It is maybe time for a change in the summer.
“I think myself and the club both know I would like to move on and start somewhere else. That might be why they haven’t offered me a contract because they know I would like to try somewhere different.
“Hopefully I can move to a higher level if that option comes. Keeping Hamilton in the Premiership would be the best ending for me and hopefully I can get a couple of goals too. For me, the main thing is getting back to starting games and doing what I do best.”
A 3-1 defeat against Hibs on Tuesday evening, allied with Ross County’s handsome triumph over Partick, had a concertina effect at the foot of the table, with just five points now separating the bottom four, with Hamilton in ninth.
Crawford, playing his first game since December after injury problems, said: “The past few seasons we have been in trouble at the bottom and last year we had to go through the play-offs to stay up. So we know what it takes. If we play like we did in the first half at Easter Road, with the attitude, desire and commitment in the last seven games then we should be okay.
“We know they won’t be pretty games and they will be a dogfight after the split, but we have to keep our heads up.”