Monday, February 9, 2009

Quinn salutes 'fantastic McCarthy

Rocco Quinn has no doubts that James McCarthy will play at the highest level one day after watching him mastermind Hamilton's 2-1 Homecoming Scottish Cup win over Dundee United.

Quinn - who signed from Celtic on transfer deadline day - admits he has only become aware of just how talented the 18-year-old really is since joining the Lanarkshire club.

And the youngster showed his class again on Saturday with a man-of-the-match performance which helped Accies seal their place in the quarter-finals for only the second time since 1967.

A lovely piece of skill from McCarthy set up Chris Swailes for the leveller after Danny Grainger had fired United ahead, before Swailes claimed his second of the day to secure victory.

Despite a double from Swailes, it was McCarthy who earned most of the praise and Quinn insisted: "It's thoroughly deserved.

"I've played against him and knew what a good player he was.

"But coming here and training with him every day, I've seen just what a fantastic talent he is.

"The world is his oyster. The boy can go right to the top."

Naturally, McCarthy was singled out for abuse from the travelling United fans but Quinn added: "I don't think he is the type who lets that get to him.

"If the fans want to sing, they can sing. It's not going to affect his game."

Swailes netted twice within the opening 10 minutes of the second half and Accies survived a late onslaught to hold onto their narrow victory.

Quinn said: "I actually think the first one was coming to me and Chris took it off me - so I'm not too happy about that!

"But it was a great finish and I thought he was going to get his hat-trick too.

"Lucky he didn't or he would have been boasting about it in the dressing room."

Hamilton have now recorded six wins on the trot but Quinn insists everyone at New Douglas Park has their feet firmly on the ground.

He said: "We are just taking it one game at a time and not getting too carried away.

"There are a lot of games left this season so the important thing is just to keep doing what we are doing.

"I'm delighted, this was a fantastic victory for us. The dressing room is absolutely buzzing - an all-round great day."

Lee Wilkie could have snatched a replay for United with a header in stoppage time but boss Craig Levein had no real complaints about his side's performance.

He said: "We played all right in the first half and might have had a second goal and probably should have got a second goal.

"I'm not too disappointed in the way we played. Sometimes in games, fine lines decide the outcome of matches.

"We didn't defend particularly well at the second Hamilton goal, although for the first one I should probably credit the young boy McCarthy with a great bit of skill on the wide area.

"Wilkie probably had the best chance of the match, a header from six yards with the goalie going the wrong way and it's hit his heel.

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