Livi boss expects entertainment at Hamilton

Livingston boss Gary Holt has predicted a classic when they travel to battling Hamilton on Saturday.

The Lions boss is an admirer of Brian Rice’s work and insists he can already see signs of the expansive style the ambitious boss wants to implement at Accies, despite being precariously positioned just two points above the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation play-off place.

The West Lothian outfit secured their safety with six games to spare so Holt is adamant his charges will be similarly forward-thinking at the Hope Stadium.

Holt said: “It should be an entertaining game because Brian likes his teams to play football.

“He is a footballing coach, is immersed in the game and is a real sponge. He has probably come in at the hardest time because they are battling for points and it is tough to make huge changes.

“He has the players he has and, no disrespect to them, they will be tuned into playing a certain way. To come in and make things expansive will take time for Brian to implement but you can already see moments in games where they do play a bit.

“He is trying to find a balance between flowing football and mixing it. The good thing is they need to win the game so it should be open and entertaining. We can go there and try to be expressive and score goals. They will as well, so there should be gaps.”

Holt has vowed not to make wholesale changes despite their pressure-free run-in, to protect the sporting integrity of the relegation fight.

He added: “Yes, we want to have a look at a few things, but we can’t make wholesale changes for the fairness and integrity of the league. I can’t say ‘it doesn’t matter if we lose to Hamilton’, because that’s not fair on St Mirren and Dundee.”