Joel Sked breaks down the season thus far for every team in our series of Ladbrokes Premiership mid-term report cards.
In the main performances have been promising, starting with a 1-1 draw at Ibrox, which included an Ali Crawford nutmeg on Joey Barton. There was a draw with Hearts and a defeat of Aberdeen at the renamed SuperSeal Stadium during a run of only one defeat in 10 games. Martin Canning has developed a 3-5-2 which accentuates the qualities of Crawford and the tenacity of the players at his disposal. Massimo Donati has added composure to the base of the midfield.
You read that Hamilton only suffered one defeat in 10 games. Well, eight of the 10 games were draws. That has been Accies main issue, their inability to either hold on to a lead or turn one point into three. From winning positions Hamilton have dropped 24 points. Twenty four. TWENTY. FOUR.They are competitive but lack the quality necessary to put games to bed or see a game out.
It can only be Ali Crawford. Seven goals from midfield, a constant driving presence, plus potent delivery from wide. Hamilton can’t lose his influence. No one else is capable of replacing his ability to piece together Hamilton, from midfield into attack.
The latest dropping of points at home to 10-man Motherwell was a microcosm of Accies’ season so far. A ball in to the box in stoppage time saw Hamilton defenders outnumbered by Motherwell attackers. Hamilton need to learn how to kill games.
Accies were expected to struggle but for large parts of the season they have played well with an admirable commitment. Even if they had held onto 10 of those 25 points they’d be healthy in the top six. But as wins continue to illude Accies the more questions marks over boss Canning whose win percentage is the wrong side of 20 per cent.