Billy Reid watched his Hamilton side clinch their highest ever finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a thrilling 3-2 win at St Johnstone before declaring: "What an effort this season."
Accies boss Reid lavished praise on his players after they overhauled today's opponents on the final day of the campaign to snatch seventh place in the table. Having been forced to completely rebuild his squad following last term's first top-flight season for 19 years, Reid is praying he can keep as many of his current crop as possible for next term's SPL assault.
"I've got to look at my own squad and say what an effort this season," Reid enthused. "I would love to keep this squad together, I think we've come a long, long way since the start of the season."
Reid, who is resigned to losing star midfielder James McArthur, added: "We went into the split and I think we were six points behind St Johnstone and five behind Aberdeen.
"Our motivation was always to look above us."
In-form Hamilton, who arrived at McDiarmid Park this morning a point behind their hosts, raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Mark McLaughlin and the livewire Dougie Imrie.
Comeback specialists Saints, who had taken something from five of their previous seven games after falling behind, repeated the trick after half-time thanks to Murray Davidson and a Liam Craig penalty.
But Accies were not to be denied and James Wesolowski snatched the winner with six minutes remaining.
Reid said: "Even at 2-0, I said to the players at half-time, 'This game's not finished. They'll keep coming at you, coming at you', and that's what they did.
"All credit to them, they've had a fantastic season. But I think you've seen the spirit of Hamilton Accies as well."