It’s 11th v 12th in the Scottish Premiership this afternoon-and Hamilton manager Brian Rice knows how important his side’s tussle with Hearts is.
The Accies go into Saturday’s match with the Premiership’s basement club just one point above them. A Jambos win would send Rice’s men to bottom in the Premiership.
Alternatively though, a win could put a gap of four points between Hamilton and Daniel Stendel’s outfit. Speaking ahead of the match, Rice admits that an injury crisis isn’t helping his efforts, with experienced defender Brian Easton set to miss 8-12 weeks of action with a dislocated shoulder.
“It’s huge, it’s huge for both teams,” said Rice. “We know we’ll be underdogs again but it’s a tag we like and it’s a tag that we need to live up to. You can’t get away from it, it’s a must-win game for both teams.
“We need to go there and compete. Hearts aren’t used to being bottom of the table with the budget and the size of the club, their fans. It should mean that they aren’t bottom but they are and they’re there for a reason.
“We are where we are for a reason. I’m down to the bare bones, I’m not talking about injuries again, it’s horrendous. Every injury we get just now is major. But I’m not going to spend my time talking about the ones who are injured.
“They can’t help us in this situation. We’ll talk about the boys who are going to step up to the plate, show courage and bravery. Our record against Hearts is good since I’ve come in here.
“We’ve won two and drawn one. This one will be completely different, new Hearts team, new Hearts management. My team is completely decimated from the last time so this is a completely different game with different sets of players.”