My players know I want them to go for it, says Hamilton boss Rice

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice hopes his commitment to attacking football can help his players approach their decisive Ladbrokes Premiership fixture with vigour.

Accies will secure a sixth consecutive season in the top flight if they match St Mirren’s result at Dundee when St Johnstone visit the Hope Stadium on Saturday.

Hamilton are a point ahead of Saints with a far inferior goal difference and Rice believes his players are comfortable with the pressure of going out and chasing the win they might need to avoid a play-off against Inverness or Dundee United.

Rice said: “I think the psychological side of it is not that difficult really, because we know the way we want to play, we know we are not going to sit in and defend and try and sneak a win or sneak a draw.

“Automatically if someone tells you that they want you to get on the front foot, then I think mentally you think, ‘Great, let’s get going’. That’s half the battle, knowing the way you want to play and going out to win.

“And I do a lot of talking with the players, a lot of group chats, sit on the pitch and talk about training and talk about games.

“Then we have to get a wee bit light-hearted with them as well, have a laugh and a joke and try and get a good mix, get them relaxed, get them away from each other sometimes for a few days. Because all season you are sitting next to the same person, hearing the same voice and it can get draining.

“So it’s trying to keep them fresh. I think it’s a mindset game.”

The former St Mirren assistant boss knows it will be impossible to avoid news about the Buddies’ score filtering through.

Rice said: “We’re trying not to look at the St Mirren result, but it will be very difficult.

“I don’t like to know, I like to concentrate on our own game. It’s about what we perform and what we do.

“Obviously this Saturday things will be getting through, but it’s important we stick to our game plan and don’t get affected by what’s happening elsewhere.

“They will know if Dundee score, they will know if St Mirren score. But we just need to get on with the game.”

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