Motherwell caretaker manager Keith Lasley admits a 3-0 defeat at Hamilton did his chances of landing the job on a longer-term basis no favours.
But the former Fir Park skipper hopes the miserable Lanarkshire derby loss will not rule him out of the running.
Goals early in each half from Lee Hodson and Ross Callachan put Accies in command and Callum Smith headed his first goal for the club.
Motherwell slipped down to 11th in the Scottish Premiership, level on 17 points with Ross County, as Accies jumped off the bottom.
Lasley has a chance to show he can take Motherwell forward after Stephen Robinson resigned on Wednesday night but their run without a win stretched to 10 games.
When asked about his own prospects, the 41-year-old said: “I don’t think it helps, there’s no doubt about that. I’m going to be honest enough to say that. But I hope it’s not the defining factor.
“I don’t really want to speak too much about the longer term because my thoughts really are on the short term.
“I’m more gutted for the fans and everybody connected with the club to be honest. It has been a difficult week.
“I have been here a long time, my feeling for the club is just so strong and I’m really angry and gutted about that today.
“That’s all I want to say on that. Things that are going to happen further down the line, that will happen.
“My main concern is turning this round in the short term and giving our fans something to be proud of.”
Motherwell had chances in the first half but the game drifted away in the opening part of the second period. They missed injured goalkeeper Trevor Carson with stand-in Aaron Chapman looking vulnerable.
“I have been at this club a long time and it’s a difficult afternoon,” Lasley said. “But on saying that it’s up to me at the moment to drive this club forward as best I can, certainly in the interim, and I plan on doing that.
“We are gutted. We have had a couple of days to work with the players and pick them up. It’s been a difficult week but we need better than that, that’s the bottom line.
“We had a couple of chances, particularly Tony Watt’s early in the game, where if you get in front things could be different.
“But it’s something we have struggled with all season, once we’ve gone behind, in terms of punching back. That gets to me, not having that ability to fight back.
“Certainly since I’ve been at this football club, it’s something we have always had the ability to do, fight and overcome adversity. That’s just not quite happening at the moment.”
Hamilton head coach Brian Rice was delighted with his injury-hit team.
“I couldn’t ask for a better start to the new year,” said Rice.
“I thought, Wednesday, to get a point and a clean sheet at St Johnstone was really good, but that was exceptional.
“Playing our local rivals, first game of the new year, scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet, I’m absolutely delighted for everyone.
“That’s as good as it gets. I’m just a wee bit disappointed that there’s no fans here to see it.”
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