Hamilton Accies chairman Allan Maitland is surprised by head coach Brian Rice’s resignation as the former Nottingham Forest player leaves his role in South Lanarkshire.

Rice – who featured prominently for Nottingham Forest in his playing days and worked alongside John Hughes for large spells of his coaching career – was named Hamilton head coach in January 2019. He guided the club to safety in two Scottish Premiership campaigns before relegation to the Championship earlier this year.

Rangers v Hamilton Academical - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

The former Nottingham Forest man has left Hamilton. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Maitland backed Rice to guide the club back to the Premiership but the 57-year-old has resigned two games into the Championship season. The Hamilton chairman said: “Without any previous indications, we received a letter of resignation from Brian Rice.

“Whilst it has come as a surprise, we now fully understand his reasoning for leaving at this time, and have, with regret, accepted his resignation.

“It has been an extremely difficult 18 months dealing with all the issues surrounding the pandemic, including the recent relegation from the Premiership, and there’s no doubt that it has taken its toll on Brian, his staff and everyone connected to the club.”

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