Hamilton manager Brian Rice says a 3-0 derby success is the best possible way Accies could have started 2021.

Rice’s men swept past Motherwell in South Lanarkshire, inflicting more punishment upon their rivals with goals from Lee Hodson, Ross Callachan and Callum Smith enough to beat the Steelmen in Keith Lasley’s first game in interim charge.

Hamilton Academical v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hamilton triumphed over Motherwell. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

It lifts Hamilton out the relegation places and Rice says he couldn’t be prouder of his side: “I couldn’t ask for a better start to the new year. I thought on Wednesday getting a point at St Johnstone [0-0 draw] and a clean sheet was really good but that today was exceptional.

“Playing our local rivals, the first game of a new year, scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet, I’m absolutely delighted for everybody. The grittiness, the determination not to lose a goal even at 3-0, we created more chances.

“We could have had a couple more goals, but just the way we got the three points was great. It was a big game for us today, you’re playing your local rivals, it’s a game you want to win, and you want to win it well. I think we did that today.

Hamilton Academical v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Passion and determiniation. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“It’s a local derby; you’ve got to roll your sleeves up, you’ve got to get stuck in, you’ve got to win your individual battles, and you’re playing for your local town here, against Motherwell which is only a mile or two away.

“First and foremost we won the fight, we won the battle, and then let’s see if we can make a few chances and take them. There’s a bit of inexperience in there, and there will be days when we get it wrong – badly wrong – and I get it badly wrong, and I hold my hands up.

“But on days like this where they do everything properly, you know, they’re not that bad a team. It’s great when people just talk about the attitude because they seem to forget that I have one or two players that can actually play a wee bit.”

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