Man of the match Ziggy Gordon and Matt Kilgallon spoke to the press following the dramatic 1-0 win at home against Livingston on Saturday and our Martin McConnell caught up with them……
You must be delighted with the three points?
“Yes, it’s as big as they come and especially at this time of the season. We picked up a wee bit of form, as I think it was a good performance against Rangers albeit we didn’t get anything out of the game. We then played Kilmarnock which was probably our best performance of the season, and we managed to get what we deserved which was a valid point from the game. Today was always going to be huge. From the get go we weren’t going to take the draw, today had to be three points. You know sometimes when you put so much in, you get the rub of the green. I thought Livingston were very good and in the first half I thought they deserved to be right in the game. But you know, sometimes that’s what it takes especially when you’re down near the bottom of the table. You need that wee bit of luck and fortunately we took our chances and they didn’t. We got the three points and go home very happy.”
Did you think that you were going to struggle after going down to ten men?
“No, because I think that the game was already like we were playing with ten. Especially in those last twenty minutes I felt that they were in the ascendancy in the game, and if anything they were going to take the goal and get the win. Fortunately it didn’t work out that way and we put so much work in today, I think you all saw that. They’re a very physical team but not just that, they showed today that they can play a wee bit. They have some good players in the team and I think that if you can stop their threats and their set pieces, then you’ve got a good chance of going on to win the game. And that’s what we did. I thought we were magnificent from set pieces. They hit the bar late on but I think that was just tired legs, especially myself.”
Gary had a big save as well.
“Yes, he was great again today. It’s not always easy when you’re down. As I said, when you’re down you get a lot of shots against your goal and you need to count on your ‘keeper to get you out of trouble and today he was magnificent. That’s what it will take, he needs to be at his best every single week for us to take something from the game.”
So what was the feeling like in the dressing room? It’s been a while since your last win.
“It’s buzzing. Like I said, it’s just that pressure. Everyone associated with Hamilton Accies knew that this was a must win game at home against Livingston and we did that. So now that we’ve done that we’ll enjoy tonight and the feeling of winning. But then it’s back to work and St. Johnstone next week. That’s just as important as it was today and we’ll be well up for that game.”
Do you regard that as a massive three points?
“Yes, it was a massive three points. We knew the result of St. Mirren v Rangers and kept an eye on it. We all said that we had a chance here to get away from the bottom two and put a little distance between us. Then we’ve got another game next week that we’ve got to be looking to win as well. So today was massive and a good feeling in the dressing room too.”
When you went down to ten men I suppose you’d think that you’d take a draw but then went on to win it.
“Yes, sort of because that’s what you think. This could keep at 0-0. These are the sort of teams we need to win against and we need to go for it. We sorted the formation out very quickly and went into a four, four, one, one. We knew if we could get that first pass forward, then we could break on them and I think we did that very well all game. We’ve got players in there who are good with through balls and can see passes, we’ve got that and need to put it away. We earned it with how hard we all worked.”
Is it especially pleasing given that it was hard work and in terrible conditions?
“You ought to play in it. Yes, it is. You’re headering a lot of balls, it’s physical, the rain is coming down and the wind is swirling about, and then to score in the 86th minute, there’s no better feeling. I’ll be honest, it’s better than winning 3-0 on a lovely summers day. It means that you’ve put your work in, put some real graft in and it was massive for us.”
You saw what it meant for a pumped up Ziggy Gordon at the end when you guys were all celebrating.
“Yes, did he have his top off again did he? Yes, he loves taking his top off. When he gets any chance to get his top off then it’s off, but he was brilliant today and deserved man of the match for me. He made it very easy for me with the crosses that came in, knowing that he was behind me. It means a lot to him being at this club, he’s been here twice and played a lot of games for them. You could tell by the end there, I was surprised that he didn’t take his shorts off as well, that he was happy and so were we.”
What’s Mason like? Has he got the potential to be a top player?
“With Mason, you can play against him in training and not get anywhere near him. He’s that big and strong, and fast. Then other times you might catch him where he’s a little too easy to brush off it and it’s an easy sort of day. He’s a young lad and I know when I was there, I used to do things that I shouldn’t have done when I started playing. But as he gets older he’ll be a right handful. It’s just down to him now and he’s a good lad, so hopefully if he can carry on from this then he’ll be massive for us.”
This is a good place to learn your trade as well isn’t it?
“It is. It’s a young squad and everyone gets a chance. People that do a lot of shooting have Jason here and do shooting with him virtually every day and Beuzy puts sessions on for them. So, it’s a good place to learn your football and when you do get on the pitch, score some goals.”
You’ve had a long and obviously good career. Are there not times when you’re playing out there in front of 1500 fans with the rain coming down side ways and thinking ‘what am I doing here?’.
“Not at all. That’s when I’ll stop when I feel like that, I don’t feel like that at all at the minute. That’s three games in a week, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday and it doesn’t bother me as I’m used to it. I’m getting older but I’m sure it will hit me like a steam train and the likes of Mason going past me, and I think that I can’t do this anymore. Then that’s when I’ll stop. But I still get nervous before games and I still have my little routines and that, so I’m still enjoying it.”