Brian Rice remained cool as ice in Hamilton dugout

Brian Rice says he was perfectly calm as Hamilton trailed relegation rivals Dundee going into the final few minutes of his first match as manager.

Aberdeen loanee Scott Wright had given Dundee the lead on his debut for the club, but Accies had their returning captain Darian MacKinnon to thank as they secured a 1-1 draw to stay out of the Ladbrokes Premiership’s bottom two.

“I’ve been through lots and lots,” Rice explained. “Ups and downs and cup finals and relegations and promotions, both as a player and as an assistant.

“I think I’m at the age now where I’m quite calm on the sideline. At the end of the day it’s a game of football.

“This isn’t about me. I’m just here to make those players better. I’m a coach, I always have been and my job is to try and improve every player as much as I can.

“I want to give the fans something to get behind and I think we started that today.”

Rice heaped praise on MacKinnon, who netted a dramatic side-footed stunner in stoppage time on his first appearance since December.

“If we can get Darian MacKinnon scoring from there then we can do anything”, he joked.

“He’s a very influential player. He’s the team captain and he’ll drive us on.”

Dundee boss Jim McIntyre praised a number of his new defensive recruits despite the concession of the late goal.

Victory would have seen Dundee move out of the bottom two for the first time since the start of the season, but a point did increase their lead over bottom side St Mirren, who were thumped by Rangers.

McIntyre said: “We grew into the game and got better and having only had 24 hours to work with a lot of the new players then that will keep improving.

“I thought (Ryan) McGowan was excellent. He won a lot of big headers and had a big handful in (George) Oakley to deal with up front but he did well.

“Andreas (Hadenius) did well as well too but just could see he tired a little bit later.

“Over the next couple of weeks they’ll get up to speed and they’ll find out what’s required. But all in all I’m not too disappointed.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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