Brian Rice has urged his gutsy Hamilton side to build on their dramatic 2-1 victory against Livingston after insisting “the better team won” in West Lothian.
It appeared that Accies, who had lost four of their five Premiership games prior to Saturday, were destined to endure another testing afternoon when a Shaun Want own goal gave the hosts the lead inside half a minute of the start.
Livi dominated much of the first period, with Marvin Bartley and Alan Forrest coming close to extending their advantage.
Nevertheless, Rice had faith his charges would complete a turnaround after the break having weathered that initial storm.
And he was proved correct as David Templeton levelled – crashing home the rebound after Hakeem Odoffin had struck the bar – before a first senior goal from 18-year-old Kyle Munro secured the win.
“I think it was a deserved victory,” said Rice. “We lost a very, very early goal and I was a wee bit concerned. But I thought we dug in during the first half and saw it out.
“At half-time we had the belief that we could go out there and win the game. In the second half, I thought the better team won.
“But I said to the players in the dressing room, that’s what hard work gets you – and this is only the start of that.”
Livingston, meanwhile, now sit second from bottom of the table.
They have only kept two clean sheets this term – shipping two or more goals in four of their seven league games – and have already lost twice at home. Only three teams won at the Tony Macaroni Arena in the entirety of last term.
While it is too early to panic, boss Gary Holt has called for some introspection amid the malaise.
He said: “We need my players to go and look in the mirror and say ‘did I do my job to the best of my abilities?’ I do that.
“If the answer is ‘yes’ then I can take that. If the answer is ‘no’ then something isn’t right. “We need to do better, work harder, get hurt and be braver – because the foundation of what we have built is clean sheets and working hard.”