Neil out but Billy has faith in colts

Hamilton will again be without skipper Alex Neil for tonight's clash against Partick Thistle.

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The midfielder is serving the final game of a three-match ban and his absence is a concern for manager Billy Reid, writes Alison McConnell.

However, the Accies boss says he has no fear about sending his inexperienced kids into the fray against Jackie McNamara's impressive Jags.

"We have beaten them at New Douglas Park already this season when we put them out of the Scottish Communities League Cup, so I think we can look forward to going into the game," said Reid.

"They beat us when we played them at Firhill in the league, but it is always a different proposition when you are on your own patch."

The loss of Neil, however, is significant.

"He is a big loss because he has so much experience and, given that we are such a young team, that is vital," added Reid.

"But we didn't have him last week and we went to Cappielow and got a win against a very strong Morton side, so we are feeling pretty good about ourselves just now.

"Thistle are in a good place and will come to us with a lot of confidence, but we feel as though we are more than capable of going out and giving them a game."

Accies have struggled this term – they are currently second bottom – but it is a very young team Reid has been forced to go with.

However, he is confident progress is being made and the main aim is to remain in the division.

"They are gaining experience all the time," he said. "I can't fault their attitude or the way they have tried to dig in and stick to their task. It doesn't happen overnight, but we do feel as though we are moving forward.

"The biggest learning curve is knowing how to win games and see it out, but the more they play the better they will get at that."

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