Hamilton won’t play to the level of Celtic and Rangers – but Brian Rice was delighted to see his team return to being Accies.
The South Lanarkshire side picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen. Ryan Hedges had put the Dons ahead before Marios Ogkmpoe equalised for the home side, ending a five-game Premiership losing run.
It’s been a tough time for Hamilton but Rice hopes some of his critics watched this match: “They deserved the point they got because of their never-say-die attitude.
“We are never going to be Celtic or Rangers, the way they play against top teams. We need to play the way Hamilton need to play.
“And I think in the last two games, people who have been criticising myself and the team, I hope they’ve seen a difference from everyone because I demanded it.
“I demanded it from myself. I had to change something, so I’ve changed something. And now I’ve got the bit between my teeth. I’ve got the fire in there to prove people wrong, so I just hope we can build on this and I’m sure we will do if we keep working hard.
“I’m absolutely delighted with them. The belief that they’ve shown there that they are not going to get beat, I’m delighted with how they responded.
“If we keep working hard and keep believing, keep getting better and trust in one another, then one day they’ll fly into the top corner because that’s what’s been happening to us.”
Accies opted for 5-4-1 in the first half before switching back to Rice’s traditional method of two strikers. The Hamilton boss has explained the thought process that got his team a point.
“The game plan was to play deep first half, let Aberdeen come on top of us, because too many times when we’ve been open and the games have been done at half-time,” said Rice.
“I decided not to go as open to begin with and see if we can keep ourselves in the game until half-time and then take it from there. To be 1-0 down at half-time to Aberdeen was respectable for us.
“We knew we were going to push forward second half, we’d spoken to the players about it before the game, how the night would pan out, and I’m just delighted that we’ve gone and done it.
“We were on the front foot and played much of the second half in Aberdeen’s half.”