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Tommy Wright’s Scottish Premiership preview: You can never write off Hamilton

© Bill Murray / SNS GroupHamilton Manager Brian Rice
Hamilton Manager Brian Rice

Brian Rice has made it clear he would love everyone to make Hamilton Accies their favourites to go down this season.

The 56-year-old relishes his side being in the position of underdogs. He says it makes his job that bit easier.

As someone of the same age and with a similar amount of experience in the professional game, Tommy Wright is not about to oblige.

“Never write them off,” he said with a laugh.

“Again, everybody seems to think this is going to be the year Hamilton will go down.

“But every season, they are swimming against the tide and yet they still manage to stay in the Premiership.

“Brian has stated publicly they will need to operate with a smaller squad and, certainly, they have lost a few players.

“Alex Gogic has gone to Hibs and Aaron McGowan, a full-back I really like, has joined Kilmarnock.

“Mickel Miller has gone down south, George Oakley has gone, as have Blair Alston and Steve Davis.

“Quite a few of the younger players have gone and the loans are away too.

“Brian, however, is equipped for the situation, and having now been in the job for 18 months, he knows his board will give him as much as support as they are able to.

“Come the end of the campaign, they always seem to end up ninth, tenth or eleventh.

“They have that resilience. They may go on a bad run at times but they don’t panic.”

Wright supports his argument by pointing out the movement has not all been one way.

“Brian has recruited Ross Callaghan and Charlie Trafford from St Johnstone and Inverness Caley Thistle respectively.

“Trafford will give them physicality in midfield.

“Callaghan, who I signed for Saints, is someone who should be looking to chip in with eight to 10 goals a season.

“Plus, of course, they have promoted some of their younger players.

“As everyone knows, Accies usually do well with them.

“But it will have to be a balance because putting in four or five kids at the same time can be a big ask.”