First Team

Craig: Confidence returning

24th December 2018

Craig Levein believes his squad are getting their confidence back ahead of the visit of Hamilton on Boxing Day.

Despite a 2-0 loss to Aberdeen on Saturday, the Jambos were very much in the game and had large spells of confident attacking play, with the Dons only pulling away when they were awarded a controversial penalty.

"I felt good about a lot of the stuff we did on Saturday. Our football was better – having Steven [Naismith] back in the team helps that.

"We get Arnaud Djoum back who’s one of our best players so I feel good about this match. I know Hamilton have had a good result at the weekend against Kilmarnock but I feel the players are getting their confidence back and that’ll help us in this match and in the game afterwards."

The Accies currently sit 10th in the Ladbrokes Premiership, five points clear of bottom side Dundee. This is their fifth consecutive season in the top flight, having fought off relegation bravely. They've finished 10th or lower in each of the last three years but have always found a way to survive.

"It’s quite remarkable really," Craig said. "Their budget is one of the lowest in the league and they’ve continually managed to keep their Premiership status and they seem to be able to do it year after year. I know this will be really difficult for us but I feel that we’re in a decent place so we’ll see how we go."

Regarding the fitness of Steven Naismith, Craig said: "I don’t think there’s any problem. His fitness isn’t an issue. He’s done a lot of work when he came back after his little op on his knee. He’s got a good engine already and I’ve no fears about that."

You can watch Craig's press conference by clicking here.