Hamilton may not have the biggest budget in the Premiership or the division’s best players, but defender Michael Devlin says they certainly have the hardest working team in the league.

As the smallest club in the top flight, Martin Canning's men have found a way to bridge the gap between themselves and their wealthier opponents.

Centre-half Devlin says that every member of the squad is grafting harder than ever as they bid to survive at the highest level of the Scottish game for a third successive season.

“We played Aberdeen a couple of weeks ago and they had a handful of internationals in their team,” he said.

“Hamilton Accies are probably never going to be that club that’s going to have five or six internationals, so it’s important that every player to a man gives everything they’ve possibly got.

“Through our work ethic, determination and desire, we’ll do that.

“Over the last few years we’ve had quality too from the likes of Ali Crawford, Tony Andreu, Danny Redmond, Mikael Antoine-Curier and Jason Scotland for example, and now from Gramoz Kurtaj and Grant Gillespie.

“When you marry that with hard work, then you have a recipe for success. That’s what has been successful for us, and no team will work harder on the pitch than we will.

“We’ll cover more grass than anyone. We want to be horrible to play against, that’s what made us so successful, getting into teams’ faces and not giving anyone too much respect.

“I thought we got back to that in the first half against Dundee, and we need to make sure we do it for 90 minutes against United on Sunday.”

The week’s break between matches against the sides from the City of Discovery was not a welcome one for Hamilton, after they earned the morale-boosting victory over Dundee last time out.

Devlin says though that the players are still feeding off the feel-good factor from the win, and he has urged his teammates to take advantage of the fact that their Premiership destiny is still in their own hands.

“If the boys could have had a fixture last Saturday we probably would have wanted it,” he said.

“Not only was the win over Dundee a great result, but the performance was closer to the Hamilton Accies that we all know, and that we’ve probably got away from recently.

“If we could have taken that momentum into last weekend it would have been great, but that’s why it was important to knuckle down and keep working hard in training this week.

“Everyone has been working away and fighting for places in the team, we’re all desperate to do well and succeed.

“It’s up to us to go out and do it on the park now on Sunday and get the win. There’s 12 points between us at the moment, and the way the fixtures have come out it’s given us two massive opportunities for the first two games with Dundee United and Kilmarnock.

“First and foremost it’s Dundee United and if we win that game, which we believe we can, that will put them to bed and we’ll focus on the next game.

“It’s in our hands at the moment, we’re not worried about anyone else. If any of the teams in that position like Dundee United or Kilmarnock were offered the chance to have it in their own hands they would bite your hand off for that, and we’re in that position.

“It’s relatively straight-forward for us, if we win our games then we’ll be fine.

“We’re professionals, we’ve got a job to do between now and the end of the season, and it’s up to us now to go and do that.”