McGovern keen to stop Bryce finding way past Accies
HAMILTON goalkeeper Michael McGovern knows he will have to be at his best today if he is to keep out Northern Ireland team-mate Liam Boyce.
Boyce has netted 13 goals for Ross County this season as he sets his sights on joining McGovern at the European Championships with his country. McGovern is all too aware that Hamilton’s improved backline – they have recorded three clean sheets since their 8-1 humiliation at Celtic Park – will come under serious examination from County’s bustling striker.
“Liam’s done tremendously well since he’s come over to Scotland,” he said. “I think in his first season it took him a while to adapt to being full time. But he got his fitness up towards the end of that campaign while he also lost a bit of weight. Now he looks really sharp and this season he’s been fantastic.
His goalscoring record is excellent and he’s established himself as one of the top frontmen in the league. If we make mistakes at the back on Saturday then I’m sure he’ll be the first to look to take advantage.
“He’s similar to Billy McKay and Adam Rooney, always feeding off scraps and opposition mistakes.
“There are a few good stories in the Northern Ireland squad and Liam’s definitely one of them. He’s cemented his place in the national squad over the last season. He came on in the game against Greece which seen us qualify, so that was great for him to be involved in such a big game.
“Of course, it’s the aim of Liam, me and everyone else to make the manager’s final 23-man squad for France. He’s going to be a big threat for us to deal with on Saturday, although in fairness they have other threats too.”
A tactical tweak from Hamilton manager Martin Canning has led to Hamilton ending a run in which they let in eight against Celtic and conceded four at lowly Annan.
Some of their attacking threat has undoubtedly been blunted, but with a win and two draws despite scoring only once in their last three matches has vindicated Canning’s approach as he tries to dig his side out of a relegation battle.
“It’s been good for us recently,” McGovern said. “Maybe we’re not as expansive going forward as we have been, but we were conceding too many goals. Now we’ve got a better platform to go and win games and hopefully we can keep things tight again on Saturday and from that go on to win.”