Brian Rice says Scottish football should be doing all it can to support Scotland boss Steve Clarke as the Accies manager looks ahead to Hamilton’s Scottish Cup tie with Rangers.
After beating Edinburgh City 5-0 in the last round, a tough home test against Rangers awaits Accies in the last 16. The Fountain of Youth Stadium side will be hoping for some cup magic as they go into the big game.
Whilst it will be a great occasion, It’s another fixture though in an action-packed schedule for Accies. Since coming back from the winter break, they have played five fixtures, with the Gers clash their sixth since January 18th.
If it helps national team boss Clarke though, Rice has no qualms over a congested schedule. The 56-year-old is very much looking forward to another tussle with Steven Gerrard as he makes his case for Clarke backing.
“It’s great to still be in the Scottish Cup, first and foremost we want a cup run,” said Rice. “It’s even better that it’s a big game against Rangers on the TV. It’s one we’re looking forward to.
“The boys have been doing fine. I personally think we should have won the game against St Mirren, my opinion. But we’re going into a game against Rangers as massive underdogs, it’s a great thing for us.
“The pressure is on Rangers to win every single game. We’re in a position where we feel we are playing well, so we are looking forward to the challenge. We’re at home so that’s the one advantage we’ve got.
“Everybody loves the cup but I think it’s undervalued, especially in England. Here in Scotland it’s still massive. Come May time, everybody wants to be at Hampden, the final game of the season.
“To go away on your holidays with memories of being in a cup final. I did it with Falkirk and although we lost, having the memories of being in a cup final is something that will live with you forever.
“It’s very difficult for the league to put all the fixtures in with all the cup and European games teams play in, plus the international fixtures. It’s really difficult to fit all the fixtures in.
“I appreciate that. Me personally, I’d prefer to play more games when the weather’s good and the pitches are good. Come this time of year we’re cramming a lot of fixtures in but it’s difficult and I understand that.
“We’ve got to look after the international team. I think Steve Clarke’s going to do a fantastic job for Scotland. I also think we need to give him as much help as we possibly can. All these games we have in the lead up to a big game against Israel, we need to be careful.
“We must give the man as much help as we possibly can.”