Brian Rice expecting tough challenges for Hamilton next season

Hamilton Academical v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Fountain of Youth Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Hamilton boss Brian Rice admits it will be no easy task getting out of the Championship next season.

Accies’ 2-1 defeat to Ross County in Dingwall on Wednesday night kept them bottom of the Premiership and all but officially relegated.

Hamilton need to beat Kilmarnock by nine goals at home in the final fixture of the season to leapfrog the Rugby Park side into a relegation play-off spot.

Rice revealed plans were already in place for next season and knows hard work will again be the order of the day.

He said: “It is going into the unknown, going into the Championship which is a really difficult league to get out of.

“I have seen loads of games in the Championship so I know how difficult it is going to be.

“I don’t want anyone for any minute to think because we have come down from the Premiership you go straight back up.

“It doesn’t work like that. Football isn’t like that.

“There is absolutely no air of, ‘this will be alright’. We have a job on our hands and we have to make sure we are ready to do that and I need to make sure I get the squad right because money is tight, it is tight everywhere.

“There is going to be a lot of players available so we need to make sure we get the right ones in and if we show the endeavour and work rate we showed this year then it will stand us in good stead.

“I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I hadn’t been looking at all the different scenarios.

“Plans are in place but we haven’t got too much to do. I’ve spoken to the owners since Wednesday night and we know where we are.

“I am sure we will lose one or two players at least but I still have the nucleus of a decent squad and if we add some to that then hopefully we will be strong.”

Rice, who was “distraught” after the game in Dingwall, is looking to finish the season on a positive note.

He said: “You just have to accept it and get on with it. You can feel sorry for yourself, make all the excuses in the world.

“It has happened and you have to deal with it.

“We have a game to prepare for on Sunday, a game the players and I want to win so we have to get on with it.

“We will be as professional as we can, our mindset will be right and I will be demanding that, first from myself and then from my players.

“We have three points to play for, the pride of the club to play for, we have everything to play for.

“We won’t be trying to do anyone any favours, we just make sure we do the best for Hamilton.”

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