MacKinnon staying calm ahead of relegation showdown

Darian MacKinnon insists he will not let the stresses and strains of the relegation battle work him into a frenzy ahead of Hamilton’s showdown with desperate Dundee.

Accies head to Dens Park on Saturday looking for the point that will spare them the prospect of automatic relegation.

But it could be D-Day for the hosts, who know defeat to Brian Rice’s team will send them hurtling back through the Ladbrokes Premiership trap-door.

Even a draw could send the Dark Blues down is St Mirren get a result at Motherwell and the pressure scenario is bound to send the pulses racing.

But skipper MacKinnon has been through all the demotion drama with Accies before and insists he has learned not to let the tension affect him as he looks to help secure a sixth straight campaign of top-flight action for the Lanarkshire club.

He said: “It’s a massive game but we’re used to the pressure here as we’re usually down at this end of the table.

“I’ve been through this so many times, I’m one of the older guys, so I’ve dealt with it all.

“I’m not saying it doesn’t bother you through the week because we want to stay in the top flight.

“But it’s not one of those ones where you go home thinking to yourself constantly, ‘Oh we need to pick up some points’.

“I just relax and get on with my life. If you think about it constantly you’re going to end up not well, you know what I mean.

“I’ve seen so many people end up stressed and it leads to mad things on the pitch. Just be calm, what will be will be.

“You can’t affect anything other than playing as well as you can. Hopefully that’s enough.”

MacKinnon expects Jim McIntyre’s team to come out swinging and acknowledged his team will have to perform better than they did against Livingston last week when they were forced to snatch an late equaliser after blowing a 2-0 lead.

He said: “Dundee are going to come after us. I think you can see from the last few weeks they’ve just been going for it.

“The pressure is off them really with the position they are in as if they lose to us they are down.

“The performance last week against Livi was good but we need results. There’s no point playing well but not putting the three points on the board because that is what will affect our livelihoods.”

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