Dundee United boss Micky Mellon praised his players’ composure amid the ‘madness’ of their comeback win over Hamilton at Tannadice.
Bottom-of-the-table Accies took the lead after half-time through Ross Callachan but the Tangerines secured the win thanks to a classy Nicky Clark double.
Hamilton could have snatched a point late on but Callachan’s composure deserted him as he blasted a penalty high into the stands.
Once the dust had settled, Mellon was delighted and relieved that United had taken all three points.
“It is probably what we want to be involved in football for, the madness of it at times,” he said.
“We never started the second half well and gave away a goal.
“But the composure we showed to find a way back into it was great and then the two goals and the passes before that were just pure quality.
“When you know you are trying to chase a result, to be calm like that and produce these moments of quality, all credit to the players.
“To bury them like that was fantastic from Nicky Clark but he has been like that all season.
“It was a really hard-fought, valuable three points for us.”
United’s delight contrasted starkly with the despair in the Hamilton camp, with under-fire Accies boss Brian Rice gutted that his side were denied at least a share of the spoils.
“We undoubtedly deserved something,” said Rice. “I asked them to go beyond where we have been this season and go a bit further and I don’t think anyone can question the commitment of the boys.
“I am so disappointed we didn’t take anything out of the game as I think we definitely deserved something from it.
“No one can accuse the boys of not fighting for the win. I know people will criticise me again, as I do when we don’t win.
“I get praise when we win so criticism is going to come my way. I don’t mind that as long as it doesn’t get personal.
“I will take any stick on the chin. We are doing our best and you saw a team fighting and scrapping for every ball, so you can’t ask for any more than that.”
Rice admitted Callachan was devastated after his penalty miss but he had told the midfielder he could hold his head high.
“He was down in the dressing room but I told him to get his head up,” added Rice.
“There is no blame attached to anyone. I think you have to be brave to step up and take a penalty in the first place. It is so disappointing as we deserved at least a point.”