ON MARCH 7 2020, a capacity crowd watched Celtic beat St Mirren 5-0 as the 9th consecutive title grew nearer. 21 weeks later, Celtic will kick off the new domestic campaign at home to Hamilton Accies, with four months worth of public health fears in between. Coronavirus has drastically changed the face of normal life and in doing so means that the game on Sunday will be played behind closed doors.
One man that won’t be reflecting on the harsh lockdown months is Accies’ boss Brian Rice. Rice has been around the game a long while but even he, a veteran of Scottish football could never have envisaged preparing to visit Celtic Park with no supporters. Instead, Rice is preparing his side to go and cause the Champions some opening day upset.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Rice has said that his team will play to their game plan and hope to upset the 10IAR chasers.
“We are playing Celtic and they won the championship. It is the first game of the season at home and they are going for 10 in a row.
“We know Celtic will be flying, they will be at it, so we need to be ready.
“It never changes when you go away to the Old Firm. As long as you are not beat in your head before you get there, that gives us a wee chance.
“Nobody expects anything off us, apart from me.
“Why not? If you go there thinking you are going to get beat, get run over the top of, you may as well not go.
“So we have to go with a game plan, stick to the game plan and see what happens. You just never know in football.”
One of the last results before COVID-19 abruptly ended the Scottish football season was a 1-0 win at Ibrox which proves Rice’s men are no mugs. Constantly tipped to go down, they always fight their way to safety and defy the odds.