Hamilton manager Brian Rice has been giving Celtic some praise in the build-up to Wednesday night’s Premiership contest.
Accies make the journey to a venue they’ve only tasted success at once since 1938 in two days’ time. Neil Lennon’s rampant Hoops have scored 88 goals and have won every single game at Celtic Park this season outside of their Champions League qualifier against Cluj in August.
It’s been an incredible campaign so far from the Bhoys. As well as sitting top with 12 wins out of 14, we’re also in the Betfred Cup final and have qualified from our Europa League group as Group E winners.
Rice hasn’t been able to praise Celtic enough. Firstly, speaking to Hamilton’s official Twitter account, he had this to say on us:
“The preparation beings now. We refuel, get some food into us, and rest. I mean we’re going to Parkhead, we’re going to play the league champions, play a team that’s conquering Europe in their group. They beat Lazio twice, we know how difficult it is.”
Rice then said the following on the club’s official website:
“Obviously we go to Celtic Park on Wednesday night and we know how hard that’s going to be. When you’ve got courage, determination and a bit of organisation, then you just never know.
“I’m not going to be trying anything that Lazio haven’t done and Rennes haven’t done. We’ll just go and try to win a game at Celtic Park. You’ve all heard about the story of David and Goliath. You just never know. You’ve got to believe that on the night, things might go your way and you get the rub of the green.
The optimistic Rice has yet to secure an eye-catching result
Rice has done a solid job since coming in as Hamilton manager. He secured the ultimate goal of survival last season, and managed to avoid bottom spot by a cool 12 points.
This term it’s been much the same for Hamilton. They sit ninth, just one place above where they ended last season but also only one point above the bottom. They come into this one having failed to win any of their last eight matches, and have shipped eight goals to Rangers on two different occasions in that run.
Their record at Parkhead in recent history has been rather forgetful for them too. Hamilton have scored only twice in their last seven at Celtic Park. In that same period, they’ve shipped 22.
Rice will be looking to improve on those numbers, but he’s yet to secure an eye-catching result since arriving back in January. He’s lost all four meetings to both ourselves and Rangers, losing a staggering 14 goals in the process.
He has to stay positive of course. You won’t find a manager coming to Parkhead who would be defeatist. It clearly sends out the wrong message to your players.
However, the history books don’t back Hamilton doing anything this week. The only thing that does is complacency. Neil Lennon has shown admirable talent in ensuring that hasn’t been a problem this season, and on Wednesday night, here’s hoping that shows again.