By Ben Wild

5th Nov, 2020 | 9:41am

'Impossible' - Hamilton boss claims his side 'disadvantaged' ahead of Rangers clash

Hamilton Academical boss Brian Rice has said his side are ‘at a disadvantage’ for his side’s trip to face Rangers as they haven’t played competitive football for 19 days.

After Hamilton’s meeting with St Mirren on October 24 was postponed due to positive COVID tests at the Paisley club and an idle week due to the Scottish Cup semi-finals it means the Accies are severely lacking match practice.

Rice has also admitted that his side tried to arrange some ‘bounce games’ ahead of their trip to Ibrox but they found it ‘impossible’ meaning his side haven’t played competitive football since October 20.

Rice is quoted by The Daily Record as saying, “We are going into the game 19 days without an actual competitive game, which isn’t ideal, but it is understandable the way things are.

“We tried to arrange a couple of bounce games, but we found it impossible to do that because we can only play teams in our league and we weren’t able to arrange a game.

“So it is a concern, but there’s no excuses. We are at a disadvantage that we haven’t had any competitive action and I have two or three players that need competitive games to get themselves fit again”.

In contrast, by the time Rangers line up against Hamilton on Sunday they will have played four times since the Accies last took to the field in the Scottish Premiership. Rice’s side lost 4-2 to Aberdeen on that occasion and the Gers have won their last nine games in all competitions.

Rangers are certainly favourites going into this weekend’s game as they boast a better recent record and a much fitter squad than their opposition, but it’s worth remembering that the Accies won the last time these sides faced off at Ibrox.

David Moyo scored the only goal of the game when the sides met in March, in what was the last Scottish Premiership game at Ibrox before last season was curtailed.

Rangers have already beaten Hamilton this season as first-half goals from Jamer Tavernier and Ianis Hagi saw Steven Gerrard’s side take three points at New Douglas Park in August.

In other Rangers news, Jorge Jesus has set his Benfica side an extra challenge ahead of their tie with the Gers.