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Rice remaining upbeat ahead of Celtic test

Hamilton manager Brian Rice is under no illusions over the difficulty of their trip to face reigning champions Celtic on Wednesday night in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

After holding Livingston to a uninspiring 0-0 draw at the Tony Macaroni, Accies are without a win in eight games since beating the same opposition back in September.

The winless run has left Hamilton just one point off the foot of the table but after an impressive performance against the other half of the Old Firm last week, Rice remained optimistic that his side can pull of a shock result at Celtic Park.

“We all know the story of David and Goliath so you have just got to believe. If things go your way and you get the rub of the green or someone does something special then you can get something out of the game,” he said.

“We go to Celtic Park on Wednesday night and we know how difficult that is going to be. When you have courage and when you have determination and a wee bit of organisation you just never know. But we are attempting to do something that Lazio haven’t done and Rennes haven’t done and no other team in Scotland has done. I think everyone is OK as I didn’t see anyone in there carrying too many knocks.”

The goalless draw against Livi was a real war of attrition played amidst freezing conditions. It was clear that both teams were struggling for form and short of confidence with Livi’s Jon Guthrie first-half header that struck the post the best chance in a game lacking quality.

After a promising start to the season, Livingston have only one victory from their last 12 games but manager Gary Holt was encouraged by his side’s performance.

“The run of games we’ve had, we’ve been defending, limiting chances and not being cut open because we’ve played some of the top sides in the league,” he said.

“So it turned full circle with lots of possession, but we didn’t take on the extra pass or weren’t willing to risk it but it’ll come.

“We tried to win the game and had right good go, but we got caught on the counter a couple of times. You don’t want to get undone by the sucker punch but it’s a clean sheet and I can’t fault the lads for what they gave me.”