There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Try telling that to Hamilton Accies, though. If it’s not Neil Lennon lambasting them for “caveman” tactics then it’s Partick Thistle’s Adam Barton having a pop at their style of play prior to last weekend’s meeting between the sides at Firhill. Even the sultan of spin, Alastair Campbell, would have his work cut out trying to put a positive polish on all these verbal volleys.

Greg Docherty is having none of it, however. Hamilton may have succumbed to Partick Thistle at the weekend but the 21-year-old is eager to put things right against a rejuvenated Kilmarnock tonight and make sure the doubters and cynics have plenty of humble pie to munch through.

“People talk us down so we need to prove them wrong,” he said. “We are a good footballing side. But we need to take our chances. There’s no point in playing pretty football if you don’t win games. Maybe he (Barton) was trying to noise us up. Look, they’ve got the three points. Maybe that’s what his intention was. I read it and if that’s what he thinks then fine. I certainly wouldn’t say anything like that.

“I think we are an easy target purely because we are the smallest team in the league and so have a small voice. Not a lot is said about us. We won’t come out and defend ourselves. If people want to say that then that’s fine. We’ll move on. It’s no skin off our noses. That’s football. But we’ll just keep proving people wrong.”

Having enjoyed notable successes on the road in recent weeks at Hibernian and Rangers, Docherty was particularly disappointed with the slender defeat to Thistle, which lifted the Jags off the foot of the table and kept the Accies peering over their shoulder.

“There’s no point in going to places like Ibrox and Easter Road and winning if we can’t beat the teams round about us,” he added. “That’s got to be our bread and butter.The games are coming thick and fast. These are two huge games going into the break. We don’t want to go into it on a downer. The Kilmarnock game can’t come around quickly enough for us. We didn’t get what our performance against Thistle merited. We switched off at a corner which is frustrating as it’s not like us. But that’s football. Thistle are fighting for everything and they came out on top.”

Killmarnock, galvanised under Steve Clarke and fresh from victory over Rangers, will pose a major test to Hamilton tonight. The encounter will also provide an opportunity for Docherty to go head-to-head with his good friend and former Hamilton team-mate, Eamonn Brophy.

“I’m certainly not surprised he’s done so well,” said Docherty of Brophy’s impressive displays with the Ayrshire club. “I know Eamonn’s qualities. I would have loved him to have stayed but for whatever reason it didn’t work out.

“He’s a natural goal-scorer with both feet. I think he’s shown that in the past few weeks. Hopefully he has an off day on Wednesday as he is clinical. Maybe we’ll know how to deal with him as our centre-backs will have played with him. Hopefully they can go and deal with him and limit him to zero chances.

“He’s one of my close friends. He still keeps in touch with a lot of the boys. Just because he’s with Kilmarnock, I still want him to do well. I’m sure he’d like us to do well. But on Wednesday, we’ll maybe say hello before the game, but then it’s down to business. After the game we’ll have a catch-up.”