Brian Rice challenges Hamilton to go on winning run

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Brian Rice challenged his Hamilton players in Brendan Rodgers style to go on a run following their crucial 1-0 home win over Hearts.

Brian Rice challenged his Hamilton players in Brendan Rodgers style to go on a run following their crucial 1-0 home win over Hearts.

Defender Aaron McGowan lit up a dull first half of this Ladbrokes Premiership clash in the 36th minute when he scored his first goal for the club with a brilliantly-taken volley.

The visitors huffed and puffed after the break but a resolute home side held out to move six points clear of second-bottom Dundee, who play Celtic at Dens Park on Sunday.

The former St Mirren assistant recalled a chat with then Celtic boss Rodgers in January after the Hoops hadbeaten Saints 4-0 at Parkhead, a week before Rice was appointed Hamilton head coach.

He said: ‘A manager I really respect once told me that it’s easy to win one game, it is not so easy to win two games or to put in another good performance and take something out of the game.

‘It was Brendan Rodgers about eight weeks ago when I went with St Mirren.

‘Celtic had a great performance on the Saturday and we played them on the Wednesday night and he said to me after the game that he had challenged the players because it is easy to have one good game.

(He asked) Can you carry it on to the next game’? ‘I went home and thought about that.

Why does it have to be the good teams that do that? ‘Why can’t any team do that.

Don’t have that fear of not winning, go out on a performance and try to get two, three, four results in a row, that’s what we will try to do.

‘We have the international break now so I havechallenged them – can we go to Kilmarnock in the next game and get something?’ Hearts boss Craig Levein was left ‘frustrated’ after a lacklustre performance.

He said: ‘We were never under any real pressure in the match but in the first half we didn’t do enough to get into the final third.

‘We controlled the game much better in the second half but we didn’t create enough opportunities.

‘By then Hamilton had something to protect, which made it a hell of a lot easier for them.

‘We started the game very slowly and the tempo of our passing wasn’t enough to cause them problems.

‘I don’t know why we started the game in a fashion which gave Hamilton hope.

‘We spoke before the game about winning second balls and all the things that are important when you come here and we’d been doing those things really well.

It’s frustrating.

‘All credit to them – they got behind the ball, headed it clear and blocked shots but I’m more interested in what we did wrong.’

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