Man of the Match Matt Kilgallon spoke to the press following the defeat against Motherwell ………
Matt, is it right in saying that was your 400th senior start in your career?
“Yes, it was. I’ve been fortunate to play at some good clubs in competition with good centre halves, and to get 400 starts is something to be proud of. When you’re young you never know how many you’re actually going to get, and to still be kicking on at 34, almost 35 is something to be proud of, yeah.”
How many more do you think you have in you?
“I don’t know. Sometimes after a defeat like this I don’t think very many. But then after a win I could say another 200.”
The Manager was saying earlier that you’re now in a relegation battle. Having a long career, do you know what’s needed to get out of it?
“Who, Hamilton have?”
Hamilton have but you have as well I’m saying.
“No, I haven’t been in any.”
Have you not? I thought you were at Sunderland?
“No, no, no. You’ll have to do your research. I haven’t been in any.”
So this is all new to you at 34 then?
“I’m normally trying to get out of leagues not down near the bottom. No, it’s a different kind of pressure if I’m being honest. You can’t lose games when you’re near the top and you can’t lose games when you’re at the bottom. There’s still a lot of pressure but it’s different. You know you’re thinking that you can’t make a mistake and let a goal in because you’ll feel that you’ve let everyone down. It’s a weird one, and at the minute we’re not doing too well to be honest. We’ve been very lucky that other teams haven’t won because I think that we could otherwise be easily rock bottom. I don’t know how many points we’ve picked up from the last, I don’t know, 15 or 16 points but it’s nowhere near what we need to have. That was an opportunity to beat Motherwell who are low in confidence, we went 1-0 up and they then score two after we let them back in. There were a few words said after full time and we’ll now have to move on.”
With Motherwell moving away, do you think it’s now a three way battle between yourselves, Dundee and St. Mirren?
“Yes, I’d say so. There’s a few games to go but if you look at the points that they’ve taken over the last couple of games then we’re all pretty similar aren’t we. Motherwell are the sort of team that can go on to win back to back games. We haven’t done that but it’s now time with the break coming up, that we look at ourselves, hopefully bring some new faces in to freshen up the dressing room and bring in some competition. Hopefully then people will think that they’re here for my shirt so it would be nice to see some new faces around here.”
You’re talking about getting some experience in because it’s a young squad here at Hamilton. It’s always said that it’s difficult to lure players here. How did they manage to lure you here and how can they bring more experienced players here?
“I think they need to want to come here and play for starters. Some people might think coming up here is easy and come up for a pay day sort of thing. You’ve got to get the right characters for one thing, if they want to do it. Hamilton isn’t the best known club but it’s really well run and has a good feel about the place. So they give players opportunities and let them play you know. I don’t know if they want English players up but they’d perhaps have to spend a bit more money. Those sorts of players are likely to score you a goal out of nothing and we need that at the moment. You know, a thirty yarder or a little tap in, because at the minute nothing is falling for us.”
Do you still get nervous before games before games?
“Definitely it is. You still get nervous and you also look at games you think that you can win and it then puts even more pressure on. Today was one. It was a derby for starters, points that we think we can take off them. Everything just ramps up another level. When you’re near the top you see things quicker when you’re out there, you know, you’ve got this confidence. But when you’re low, you don’t quite see that pass or jump quite so high. It’s strange, but I’d say there’s definitely more pressure when you’re near the bottom.”
Do you still get the same buzz when you’re out there?
“Oh yes, still get the same buzz. It’s exciting coming in and you get that nervousness, but as soon as the whistle goes, it all disappears and it turns into adrenaline and you just do as well as you can.”
It’s just unfortunate that you don’t have a game for three weeks now?
“Yes. It’s another thing about playing down south, you play Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. So when you lose a game you’ve got two days to put things right. Now with three weeks to sit around and it’s probably not ideal.”
The squads carrying lots of knocks too.
“Yes, there is that as well definitely. We’ve picked up a few injuries today but they’ve three weeks to hopefully recover but I doubt it will be an easy three weeks with where we are just now. I think it’ll be very hard and a hundred miles an hour. It needs to be really.”
Do you think it all down to preparing yourself right and not down to a break of the ball, a decision or something like a penalty?
“I don’t really like saying that because sometimes you can use that as an excuse, with a break of the ball or whatever. You’ve got to make your own luck by working hard and when you do it seems to come. But I think a few things like Keatsy’s free kick, where the ‘keepers gone and it’s hit the edge of the wall. I’m watching it and the spin of the ball, especially on the AstroTurf, you’re thinking it could go anywhere. Then the keeper comes out and parries it out to one of them and it’s a goal. You know, just little things like that but you make your own luck I suppose.”