AS Hamilton fans will testify, their team very rarely does it the easy way. But when it comes to securing their place in the Premiership, they usually do it in the end.

That is the task ahead of the Accies players once more as they take on St Johnstone this lunchtime knowing that a win will guarantee them another season in the top-flight. Simple enough, right? Well, these Hamilton players had a similar incentive on Monday night when they took on St Mirren, but a 2-0 defeat made sure that their fans would have to suffer through a tortuous final day of the league season.

As goalkeeper Gary Woods says with a resigned laugh, it just wouldn’t be Hamilton any other way, would it?

“That’s it,” Woods said. “You might as well just have let St Mirren have the win on Monday night because we never do it easy, do we?

“That is the difficult thing. The inconsistency. You look at Livingston a couple of weeks ago when we were 2-0 up and cruising. All of a sudden, we are 3-2 down. That’s Hamilton and the way everyone sees us.”

Changing those perceptions of his club is a long-term goal for both Woods and manager Brian Rice, but the short-term goal of securing their safety is the priority today.

“Under the new manager and moving forward, we need to get away from that,” he said. “We need to find some consistency – as we have done since the gaffer came in – and bring that throughout a season.

“There are too many times we have been in this situation. Last year, I think we won one game after the split, didn’t pick up another point and ended up staying up. This year, we have drawn two, won one and lost one but it is still going to the last day.

“In the future we need to be more consistent. People say ‘little Hamilton’ but you look at what Livingston have done since coming into the league. They’ve had a brilliant season and there is no reason why we can’t do that.

“It’s not an ideal position to be in but we haven’t just fallen into it. We are where we are because we haven’t been good enough this season and that’s why it has come down to the final league game.

“We are in this place because we have been too inconsistent this season. It isn’t bad luck or anything like that, it is our fault and you can’t hide the facts.

“The good thing is, it is still in our own hands. Win our own game and we are fine, it doesn’t matter what St Mirren do. They could be 10-0 up at half-time and we win, their result doesn’t come into it.”