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Brian Rice hoping Hamilton get plenty of chances to ‘not celebrate’ goals

Rangers v Hamilton Academical – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice hopes his players get the chance to “not celebrate” a goal in their Scottish Premiership encounter with Dundee United.

Rice revealed the club have reiterated to their squad they should tone down goal celebrations amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Clubs have been reminded of their responsibilities by the SFA and SPFL’s Joint Response Group with regard to coronavirus protocols, with players having to remain apart after scoring.

Rice admits it can be an instinctive reaction to celebrate together but insists they must all adhere to the guidelines to keep playing.

Rice said: “We’re going to ask our boys to do it, so we’re hoping we’ll get the chance to not celebrate.

“We’re hoping that we score a few goals and we don’t celebrate them.

“It’s just an instinctive thing, Dundee United’s goal the other night for example, Lawrence Shankland’s goal was sensational and it’s just a natural reaction to congratulate someone for doing that.

“It’s going to be very difficult but we’ll reiterate to everyone today and tomorrow that if we do score a goal, let’s just get back, get in our shape and get on with the game.

“We’ve got to stick to the rules as best we can, there’s going to be wee blips but as long as it’s tiny blips, I’m sure every manager and player is going to take responsibility.

“Go and tell me someone who didn’t celebrate when Scotland qualified for the Euros. Look at the dressing room scenes, everyone was ecstatic, the whole country was ecstatic.

“In fact, some of the people who are telling us not to celebrate were putting out tweets that it was fantastic and great to see.

“Listen, when something good happens it’s very difficult to just act normal but we know the responsibility we’ve got and we’ve got to try to adhere to it the best we can.”

Scottish football below Championship level has been suspended for three weeks due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Rice feels for the clubs affected and knows Hamilton are in a privileged position to still be playing and hopes they can complete the campaign.

He said: “I think health and safety comes before anything else.

“It’s not for me to say what’s right and wrong, it’s not for me to say whether it’s right to continue playing football or whether it’s right to stop it.

“We’re very privileged to be in the position we’re in.

“I really feel for Falkirk, Partick Thistle and Queens Park who are full-time, there’s been a lot of money invested in them to keep them full-time.

“I’m disappointed for them but also for every player that’s been deprived of the chance to play and train but we know why and we just have to accept it and get on with it.”