21 Feb Martin Canning defends state of Hamilton’s artificial surface
Hamilton are set to get a new pitch but manager Martin Canning believes their artificial surface compares favourably to some of the Ladbrokes Premiership’s grass parks.
Rangers midfielder Josh Windass claimed Hamilton’s pitch “has to go” after he netted a hat-trick in his side’s 5-3 win at the SuperSeal Stadium on Sunday.
Accies chairman Ronnie MacDonald told a supporters’ meeting this week that the club would be installing a new pitch this summer but it will be another artificial surface.
Canning said: “There will be, I don’t know what’s been said or not yet, but there is talk of that happening at the end of the season.
“While it’s here, I think it’s a true pitch, the ball moves true on it.
“When you go to some of the grass pitches we’ve gone to in the last few weeks, the pitches haven’t been great either.
“Some of the surfaces are poor, you don’t know what you are getting, you don’t know how the ball is going to bounce, whether it’s going to stick or not. I think our pitch is in good condition. It plays the same way every week.”
The defeat by Rangers meant Accies have lost all five of their games in 2018, conceding 15 goals in the process, but Canning feels they can improve quickly once they cut out individual mistakes.
And he admitted it was always going to take time to adapt after selling Greg Docherty to Rangers and losing fellow midfielders Darian MacKinnon and Ali Crawford to knee injuries.
New signing Ross Jenkins featured against Rangers alongside academy graduates Darren Lyon and Lewis Ferguson.
“It was good for Jenks to get 90 minutes, he did well for us, and Darren Lyon as well,” Canning said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Partick Thistle.
“When you look at what we have lost in the middle of the park, we have lost Greg, Darian and Ali from the team that beat Motherwell 3-1 at the end of December. If you take the midfield three out of anyone’s team and rebuild it, it’s not easy to do.
“Greg and Darian were two and three in regaining the ball, which is a big part of what we do. We lost Ali’s creativity too. But young Fergie has come in and done great and it’s just about getting the balance right.
“Ali has trained this week and we will see how he is for the weekend. Everyone else is fit other than Darian, who will hopefully be back earlier than we thought, maybe a month and a half.”