Hamilton youngster Andy Winter is determined to repay head coach Brian Rice’s faith in him and shine in the Premiership.
The 18-year-old broke into the Accies squad last season and scored on his debut in the Scottish Cup tie with Edinburgh City in January.
The attacker put in the hard graft during Scottish football’s shutdown to be in peak condition for its resumption and has featured in all five of Hamilton’s league outings this season.
And he hopes all that work has a pay-off as he strives to notch his first Premiership goal when they face Livingston on Saturday.
Winter said: “The gaffer said to me when the break happened to come back in really good condition and if I did that I’d give myself every opportunity to start the season.
“I did that, I kept my head down and kept working hard. To be fair, I’ve got to be thankful to the gaffer for putting his faith in me, he’s played me in a lot of games this season and it’s been really good.
“I just want to kick on and prove I can play at this level, hopefully get a few more goals. I just want to play as many minutes as I can.”
Hamilton are second bottom in the Premiership, having won just one of their opening five games but Winter is confident they can add to their points tally in their forthcoming fixtures.
A win on Saturday would lift them above Livingston in the table and Winter knows they will be going all out to get the three points.
He said: “It’s a massive game and would be a massive three points. We are looking to get a result at the weekend and hopefully it will go our way.
“Obviously it’s been a tough start but if you look at the fixtures we had at the start of the season we knew it was going to be hard but now it’s time to kick on and start putting points on the board.
“We’ve got a right good opportunity over the next few games to win them and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Hamilton will be without Lee Hodson for their meeting with Livingston.
The defender has to self-isolate for 14 days as he flat shares with St Mirren goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, who has tested positive for coronavirus.
And Winter knows Hodson will be a big loss to the team.
He said: “The gaffer explained the situation earlier this week and we just have to accept it.
“It’s hard for everyone, everyone is in the same boat and has to be careful but you just try your best to be careful and that’s all you can do.
“It’s something you can’t really control and it will happen at every club.
“Lee has done really well since he’s come in and been a big part of the team. He’s slotted in in the right-back position as though he’s been there for years, so he’ll be a big miss.”