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Excitement and enthusiasm high in the Accies squad – Rice

Head Coach Brian Rice has insisted he is focusing on the excitement and the enthusiasm of his young squad as they prepare for the final five games of the season.

Accies added goalkeeper Ryan Fulton and midfielder Scott Martin to the growing list of injured players. However, Rice has praised how the fit players have reacted to the Accies injury worries.

He said: “We have spoken enough about the injuries. This week it has been well documented on the growing list, however, there is nothing we can do now about the injuries. One door closes for the lads who are injured and another has opened for those who haven’t been playing for as much as they would have liked.

“Anyone who comes in should be aiming to make a name for themselves. Every match they start gives them an opportunity to impress. For younger players that could be the launch pad for their career to kick on.

“As a manager I have no qualms about playing any of the young lads. They come in with the confidence and the adrenaline rush. Every day they come in raring to go and that is what we have been focused on.

“All we can do is pick the best possible team we have available to us and we know regardless of who we put in; they will give us everything they have.”

Despite entering the split, Rice insists the focus of his squad will not change between now and the end of the season.

He said: “Every game has so much meaning to it. Every game has such significance, we know that it can all change with one result. It is important that we don’t look too far ahead of ourselves. We have a game tomorrow that we want to win, after that there are four games to go but we can only prepare for the next one and see where that takes us.”

The Accies boss also provided an injury update ahead of the final five games of the season.

He said: “Our injury issues are not being made any easier. The only player we have back is Marley Redfern, he was cup-tied in the Scottish Cup, but none of the injured lads are back. Scott Martin went off against St Mirren and I think it’ll be at least a month before we see him back playing.

“It is touch and go whether or not he will play again each season but we can’t tell one way or another just now. Ryan Fulton fell on Monday and dislocated his knee so he won’t play again this season.

“We probably have seven lads who are unlikely to play again this season. There are two or three who may be fit enough to make the bench in the final weeks of the season. If these lads were fit many of them would be in the team so it is very difficult for us.”

Rice expects a tough match against the Dundee side:

“In the games we have played they have been very close. We have had two draws and they beat us 2-1 against them. We missed a late penalty that day, so there hasn’t been a great deal between the teams. When it is as tight as this it is important that we take our chances when they come.”

The match will be broadcasted live and exclusively on AcciesTV. Priced at £15 and will be available here. Coverage begins at 2:30 with an exclusive interview with Accies legend Dougie Imrie as his U18s side prepares for the opening match of their league campaign this evening.

Nick McInally – 10th April – 10:46 am

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