Our Martin McConnell spoke with Adrian Beck and Lewis Smith after Saturday’s one goal defeat by Celtic…
What did you think of your first taste of Scottish football?
“I’m very happy to make my debut against the biggest team in Scotland. I think for us we can be really proud of the way we played because towards the end a point was possible. But I’m very happy to play my first match in Scotland.”
What do you know of Scottish football? Do you know anyone who has played here before?
“I’ve never been here before this is my first time in Scotland. I’ve watched both Scottish and English football on TV and imagined what it would be like for me today. I was really excited, it was very fast and very exciting. I will enjoy it.”
Was there a sense of disappointment in the dressing room that you didn’t manage to get a point because you played well in the second half?
“Yes, the team went in after the game and didn’t really know if they should be proud or to be sad. They did do very well in the second half and might have had a point with a bit more luck but everyone is a little disappointed now. I think when we come in tomorrow and watch the game back we may not be so disappointed as it was a good game.”
How did the move come about? How did the manager find out about you?
“I just got a call from Hamilton and straight away I looked up the club and Scottish football. Right away I was interested in coming here and I’m very happy to be here.”
Did you have to look on the map to find out where Hamilton was?
“It is a little club so whether a town or a city, I didn’t know exactly but I knew it was close to Glasgow. Scotland isn’t so big like Germany where I come from.”
How did you think the team and yourself did today?
“Obviously I thought that I did okay but you’re never happy with a defeat. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 1-0 or 3-0, you’re never happy. I thought maybe we could have nicked it today if the ball had fallen to us or we got lucky. But it wasn’t to be our day today.”
What was the big change at half time? It looked as if it could have been three or four in the first half then it swung the other way?
“Yes, when we conceded the first goal we just stuck in and tried not to concede again and did that quite well. We stood up and did what we needed to do. In the second half the gaffer asked us to be a bit braver, take the game more to them and we did that.”
You switched to a back four didn’t you?
“Yes, we switched to a back four and put two up front for a wee bit. So it wasn’t as if we were going to take the 1-0 and going to be happy with that.’
How hard a shift was that with you coming off International duty and having to face Celtic and having to run relentlessly for ninety minutes?
“Yes, it definitely was a shift but glad that the gaffer had faith in me to play. These are the sort of games that you want to play in. You want to play in every game but these are the games you really want to play in. I’m glad that he had enough faith in me.”
Is it good at Hamilton as they do give chances to young players to play first team football? Are you always aware of that?
“Yes, definitely. He always talks to you and says that if you work hard you’ll get your chance. George Cairns is really good with you and always speaking to you if you’re not playing to keep you motivated. This year I’m really thankful that I’m getting the chance to play.”
The manager said that you remind him of Ryan Christie. Can you see the comparison?
“I think that I’ve got a wee bit to go before that but it’s really nice.”
What’s it like coming up against guys like Christie, McGregor and Brown?
“It’s really good as ultimately that’s where you want to be in the future. That level of player. They’re all Scotland Internationals so hopefully one day I can too.”
Is it all about believing that you belong on the same pitch as these guys? Is that half the battle?
“Yes, definitely. The gaffer said yesterday that if we don’t believe that we can get something from the game then don’t bother coming in. That’s never an issue with us as we’ve got great belief in the squad and you seen that today, we never gave up.”
It’s been a reasonable start to the season. Is there a touch more optimism than last time out?
“Yes, there’s definitely more optimism. After the first game it was a wee bit shaky but we’ve dealt with the pressure well so far. It’s a big game next week against St. Mirren so hopefully we can get three points.”
The crowd stayed with you today.
“Yes, we showed that we gave everything and never gave up. We didn’t just settle for a defeat.”
Every year people tip Hamilton to go down don’t they?
“Yes, proving the doubters wrong makes it even better if we do stay up.”