Brian Rice has sent a message to the critics following Hamilton’s tremendous 1-0 derby win over Motherwell.
After a game largely dominated by their Lanarkshire rivals, Rice’s men showed resilience and determination to grind out a win. They got back into the game and got a winner through a Hakeem Odoffin header.
It’s a big win for Rice as it lifts them off bottom and raises confidence ahead of a tough game against Rangers next weekend. After three defeats in their opening matches, Rice read criticism of his side.
But he’s asked those who doubt his team to ‘keep writing us off.’ The Hamilton manager knows what is team is all about and they showed that at Fir Park, praising derby hero Odoffin in particular.
“Just before the goal went in we had three or four dangerous crosses into the box and Hakeem missed one that was probably easier to score,” Rice said. “But he deserved his goal. Since he came into the club he’s been immense for me. I brought him in as a right-back and moved him into centre-back and I’ve been absolutely delighted with him.
“He’s only 22 but he’s a leader in that young team. So him to get his first goal in a derby match, I’m sure he was delighted. I felt we started the game well but Motherwell grew into it and they were the better team in the first half.
“But I felt in the second half when we changed the shape and brought the young ones on, they got hold of the ball, got us up the pitch. They have energy and enthusiasm but they can also play. They had a big part to play in us winning today.
“We’re the smallest club in the league but the players have all got heart and will run through a brick wall for the club. We’re an easy target, I’m reading some of the words written about us, ‘a wretched start to the season.’
“When Hamilton are bottom of the league we get battered. I’m standing up for the boys, standing up for the club, the town. These people keep writing us off, well just keep writing us off.
“We play Rangers next week and we will do what we always do, try and win. It’s important we won going into the Rangers game as every question would have been you’ve lost four in a row. I think it’s time I stood up for my club.”