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Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 16:16 UK

Player prize for Accies' McArthur

Hamilton's James McArthur shows off his prize
McArthur has been in good form for the newly-promoted Accies

Scottish Premier League young player of the month James McArthur was surprised to receive the award because he is not satisfied with his own form.

"It was a bit of a shock," the Hamilton Accies midfielder said after receiving the Clydesdale Bank award for August.

"I accept this on behalf of the team really because, if it was not for the team, I would not be doing well.

"I don't think my performances have been up to scratch, but the team has done really well."

Hamilton, last season's First Division champions, sit in fourth place in the SPL, much to the surprise of the many who tipped them for relegation.

Wins over Dundee United and Inverness Caley Thistle were follow by defeats to Kilmarnock and Hearts with a Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Clyde sandwiched between during August.

If he keeps progressing as he has in the last three years, the sky's the limit for him

Hamilton captain Alex Neil

But they were back to winning ways in the league during September with a fine result away to Aberdeen.

McArthur puts their success down to the spirit of happiness within the squad inspired by manager Billy Reid and stressed that the Accies players always had a belief that they could hold their own in the top flight.

The 20-year-old also praised fellow midfielder Alex Neil for aiding his own progress.

"I have played under Alex for three or four years and he has helped me so much, so a lot of it is down to him," said McArthur, who scored in the opening win over United.

He has broken into the Scotland Under-21 side, although he missed the recent fixtures through injury, but he questions his own chances of moving into the full squad.

"I don't know if I am good enough to make the step up as there are so many really good players around," McArthur said.

"I have to work on my quality on the ball right now and the gaffer wants me to add goals."

Neil, though, has no doubts about his young team-mates' potential.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"He is an all-rounder," said the 27-year-old Accies captain. "As far as going to win the ball and reading where the ball is going to drop, I don't think I have come across anybody better in my career.

"On the ball, he can pick passes and he can go forward and he can defend.

"It is in his own hands, but I think that, if he keeps progressing as he has in the last three years, the sky's the limit for him.

"James is the type who, if you win the game and he is not playing well, he is still not happy and he works as hard as anybody at this club."


see also
Jefferies picks up monthly award
11 Sep 08 |  Kilmarnock
Mendes voted player of the month
14 Sep 08 |  Rangers


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