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Hamilton boss Rice backs Wright to turn things around at St Johnstone

Hamilton boss Brian Rice has backed Tommy Wright to turn things around at struggling St Johnstone.

The Saints sit bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table after failing to taste victory in any of their opening nine games.

Wright has been at the helm since 2013, guiding St Johnstone to a series of strong league finishes and Scottish Cup success during his tenure.

Rice insists the Northern Irishman is the man to reverse the club’s fortunes and he is wary of the threat the Perth side will pose when the teams meet at McDiarmid Park on Saturday.

“The job Tommy has done there in the time he has been in charge has been fantastic so I think it (their league position) has come as a surprise to everyone I’d imagine,” said Rice.

“They’re the wounded animal. They’ll be bursting to get a win. They’ll be doing everything they can to get that first win to hope it kick-starts their season.

“Hamilton have been in that position before. A lot of teams have been in that position. It’s not as if St Johnstone are cut adrift – there’s nothing in it.

“There is very little in it between the eight or nine teams at the minute.

“I know Tommy has been speaking about how he’ll get it right and I’m sure Tommy will get it right.

“He’s a good manager and I’ve got a lot of respect for Tommy. I’m sure if there is anybody who can get St Johnstone going it’s Tommy.”

Hamilton sit eighth in the standings after enjoying a series of positive results this campaign, the latest of which being a 1-1 draw against Hibernian last weekend.

Rice is pleased with their league position but is focused on continuing to put points on the board.

He added: “It’s nice to be where we are at the minute but it would be even nicer to keep picking up points.

“We know there are going to be tough stages in the season but we also know there are going to be good stages.

“It’s just a case of here at Hamilton, trying to keep building a team, trying to keep building a squad and giving some of the players here the experience of playing in the Premiership because a lot of my players haven’t played in the Premiership before or they haven’t got a lot of games in it.

“So where we are at the minute, I think probably is a reflection of our season so far.”