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Brian Rice wants more from Hamilton Academical attackers

Brian Rice wants more from Hamilton attackers
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Accies have only scored in one of their past six matches.

Brian Rice saw more evidence of his Hamilton side's much-improved defensive play in Saturday's goalless draw against Dundee United.

But the Accies head coach admits he is working day and night to get more goals from his team.

Hamilton have come a long way since losing 17 goals in three Scottish Premiership games and then bowing out of the Betfred Cup at Stranraer in November.

They recorded a fifth clean sheet in nine matches with the help of Ryan Fulton's brilliant one-handed stop from an Ian Harkes header, plus some solid penalty-box defending.

Accies are far from the worst team in the Scottish Premiership when it comes to putting the ball in the net – their 21-goal total is better than Motherwell, Ross County, St Mirren and United.

But they have only scored in one of their past six matches and Rice is looking for some reinforcements up front, with main striker Marios Ogkmpoe out with a knee injury and wide men David Templeton and Nathan Thomas both injured.

Front players Callum Smith and David Moyo both blazed over from good chances against United.

"Callum had a great chance and he's got to do better, and the kid knows that," Rice said. "He's got to show a bit of composure.

"The strikers haven't scored enough goals this season and we are trying to address that.

"We have addressed the situation of losing goals, now we have got to get back to scoring goals. And we know that, that's what we have been working non-stop on, trying to get one or two in to help us in that department. But it's very, very difficult."

United are not lacking in quality strikers with Scotland cap Marc McNulty restricted to a substitute role as fellow international Lawrence Shankland started just behind Louis Appere, with Nicky Clark further back.

But they created few penalty-box chances during their sixth goalless draw of the season.

"You have to be honest and say that if you're going to be more successful, then you have to be taking three points in some of those games," manager Micky Mellon said.

"But we won't allow people to put us under pressure by saying it's a problem for us when we're getting clean sheets and results in a league that we've just arrived in.

"It shows how far we've come when we go into the dressing room that we're disappointed that we've not taken three points at a place like Hamilton."

Mellon added: "We always said we have to keep building bit by bit, and we certainly are.

"We're not playing off the cuff. A lot of the stuff we are doing, we're working hard in training and I'm seeing that in our play.

"I see what the players are trying to achieve when they get on the ball. I'm very clear on that and I'm pleased when I see it coming off.

"We're getting to a good place but, quite rightly, we have to score goals and win games of football."


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7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd31811122843-1535
8St Johnstone31810133240-834
10Ross County3075182254-3226
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3067172957-2825

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