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Hamilton boss Brian Rice expecting no favours from St Mirren

Hamilton boss Brian Rice expecting no favours from St Mirren
© Reuters
Jim Goodwin is expected to field a full strength side.

Hamilton boss Brian Rice is expecting no favours from Jim Goodwin as he prepares to take on a St Mirren side at full strength on Saturday.

Accies face a huge encounter in Paisley as they look to prolong their fight for survival against the Scottish Cup semi-finalists.

Victory would boost hopes of an eighth successive season in the top flight for the Lanarkshire outfit – but they face a Saints side desperate to nail down a place in Goodwin's team next Sunday.

The Buddies boss admits he will take no chances with a couple of injury concerns as he keeps one eye on their Hampden clash with St Johnstone.

But otherwise the Irishman will name a first-choice line-up after insisting it is only fair to Hamilton's relegation rivals Ross County and Kilmarnock that he does not go easy on Rice's team, who are three points adrift at the bottom with three games remaining.

But that is fine by the Hamilton manager, who said: "I don't care what St Mirren do tomorrow. It's about what we do.

"St Mirren have got the right to pick whatever team they choose. They have earned the right to do that.

"So I'm not concerned about what team St Mirren pick. It's the team that I'll pick which I'm concentrating on."

Rice will watch the match from the SMISA Stadium stands after being handed a two-game touchline ban for his furious tirade against referees chief Crawford Allan in the wake of this month's 3-0 cup defeat to Saints.

But he backed his team to keep their cool as the temperatures rise in the battle at the bottom.

Rice – whose side have gone nine games without a win – said: "Some of the lads have been through this situation before. They understand what it takes.

"But a lot of the lads haven't been through it before.

"If you look through the team, we have a lot of young lads and even some experienced pros who have never been in this position.

"So the guys who have, they will have to pass on that wee bit of knowledge and how they coped with it to the younger ones.

"But we can't look too far ahead. It's about looking to Saturday and that's the key – look forward to it. Don't fear it.

"I'm sure we have got the nerve to handle things when it gets tense. We've lost the last two league games 1-0, there's been nothing in those games.

"In the Dundee United games we were excellent, created a lot of chances but lost. Motherwell we didn't create as much but kept at it even when we went down to 10 men.

"So I have no fear about the boys' temperament."

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Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice pictured in August 2020
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