Defender Dan O’Reilly has challenged his Hamilton team-mates to put their play-off disappointment behind them and finish the season unbeaten in their last three games.
Accies’ slim hopes of nabbing fourth place in the Championship were ended on Saturday as Arbroath ran out 1-0 winners, courtesy of Jack Hamilton’s 59th-minute strike, which also kept alive their own title ambitions.
O’Reilly says it’s important to react well to adversity, and hopes Accies can come out of clashes with Morton, Raith Rovers and Inverness with as many points as they can, and finish as high up the table as possible.
He said: “We just have to finish positively. In this league you go into any game, whether you’re playing someone at the bottom or the top, and I think you can win the game.
“We beat Morton here, so next week we’ll be going in there, trying to get a win and, most importantly, a reaction from today as well.
“We’re well capable of it. We’ve got a good squad and mentality.
“Football is about reactions sometimes, you just have to put today behind you and build to next week.
“We were unbeaten in the last four, we should have three wins on the bounce.
“In terms of providing ourselves, we just have to finish the season strongly. Finish in the table as high as we can.
“There’s not much in it, points-wise, not much in it between much of the teams.
“But we have enough there to get a couple of wins and maybe finish the season unbeaten.”
O’Reilly, 26, says Saturday’s defeat was enormously frustrating, and showed a lack of quality on the day.
Accies passed up a number of chances in the first half, but Arbroath’s winner seemed to take the wind out of their sails, and they struggled thereafter.
He said: “I thought in the first half we controlled the game, and sometimes that can be a bit dangerous, because you’re getting a bit comfortable.
“We started the second half a bit sloppy, and then they scored the goal, we were trying to put pressure on and just couldn’t really create anything clinical.
“To be fair to them they defended their box well, defended everything we threw up, and it was just a frustrating day at the office.
“You never fault us for effort and grit, but we lacked a bit of quality in the second half, from back to front.
“At the end of the day we’ve conceded a goal and lost by one, but we should still be able to claw that back with quality, and that starts from us at the back.
“We just have to finish positively, now. In this league you go into any game, whether you’re playing someone at the bottom or the top, and I think you can win.”
Hamilton’s reaction to the defeat starts at Cappielow next weekend as they come up against former star Dougie Imrie’s Morton.
Having grabbed a win over the Greenock side already this season, O’Reilly says they can do the same.
“We beat Morton here, so next week we’ll be going in there, trying to get a win and, most importantly, a reaction,” he said.
“We’re well capable of it, we’ve got a good enough squad and mentality.
“Football is about reactions sometimes, you just have to put today behind you and build to next week.”
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