Hamilton must use solid defensive foundation as platform for attack – Alston

Alston feels Hamilton have tightened up defensively since they were thumped 3-0 by Ross County on the opening day of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.

By Press Association Published: 27 September 2019 - 4.23pm

Hamilton midfielder Blair Alston believes his side must use their solid defensive foundation as a platform to pose a more attacking threat.

Alston feels Hamilton have tightened up defensively since they were thumped 3-0 by Ross County on the opening day of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.

They have kept clean sheets against Kilmarnock and St Mirren and only conceded one goal to champions Celtic.

And in three league games where they have had a player sent off, they have conceded just one goal from open play – although Motherwell also scored a penalty immediately following Jamie Hamilton’s dismissal for handball.

But they have failed to score in three of their six league games and have drawn a blank in their last two outings.

Now Alston hopes they can pose problems for Livingston on Saturday in Hamilton.

Alston said: “The first game of the season was really disappointing for us, we lost poor goals and we were flat.

“But since then we’ve been a lot more solid, we’ve made it harder for teams to break us down.

“When we’ve been down to 10 men we’ve only lost one goal in those games where it happened.

“It’s not like it’s been the last five minutes when we’ve gone down to 10 men, it’s been almost two full halves of football and even more against Motherwell.

“Ideally, we’d like to keep 11 men on the pitch but I don’t think the red cards have been for vicious foul play, it’s just been unfortunate.

“But we’ve been quite solid, we’ve stopped conceding as many goals and chances.

“Hopefully if we keep 11 on the pitch, we can start putting some more in the other net as well.

“The manager is big on saying you start every game at 0-0, so it’s up to the other team to take that point away from you.

“But it’s up to us to take it away from them and get all three.

“We’ve been good at making it hard for teams to score against us but we need to make it harder for them defensively.”

Alston believes the addition of loan signing Sam Stubbs has helped them to tighten up at the back.

He said: “Sam has done really well for us. We’ve got a big squad here and a lot of players that are capable of doing well, but since Sam’s come up he’s played every minute and looked good.

“That’s a big indicator of why we’ve done better at the back. Sam’s done really well.

“He’s been great for us and I’m sure he’ll agree the boys around him and in front of him have done well as well and helped him to fit into the team.”