Hamilton Accies boss Brian Rice says this season's Championship is likely to be the most competitive division in Scottish football this season, but his side can boost their confidence by going on a run.

Rice says there's no stand-out side in the league that he thinks will run away with the title, but he also doesn't see obvious fall-guys who will struggle.

But he says going on a winning run can help his side enormously if they embrace the task ahead of them, after dropping down from the Premiership last season.

"We're all looking forward to it, that's for sure, it's the start of a new campaign, a new challenge for us," said Rice. "Everybody's really looking forward to it, the full squad, the full club. Players, board, fans, everybody.

"It's something different for us, it's something we want to go and embrace and challenge for.

"We'll do what we did last year, try to win games every single week.

"It's just the quality of the opposition you're playing against, you know? I don't think we ever set out not to try and win.

"People think it's going to be different but it's not going to be different - every game is a challenge.

"Obviously you look at it and, if you're realistic, there's more chance of winning games in the Championship than there is in the Premiership for a club like Hamilton, if we're being honest with ourselves.

"We're hopeful, if we can go on a wee run of wins, that we can get confidence and try and build something."

Rice expects a fierce challenge this season, starting with the visit to Raith Rovers at Starks Park on Saturday.

Rice expects tough opposition in the Championship
Rice expects tough opposition in the Championship

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"I think the Championship will be even more competitive this year," he said.

"We've had Rangers in the division in recent seasons. Hearts were runaway winners last year.

"This season it's going to be more competitive.

"You look at the clubs and the squads, I don't think one really sticks out.

"You also don't think to yourself that any one of them is going to struggle.

"It will probably be the most competitive league in the country on reflection.

"Raith are a good team. I saw a lot of them last season and they did well - they just fell at the second last hurdle.

"But I think the majority of the teams in the Championship will think they have a chance to at least get to the play-offs.

"It's going to be really interesting.

"We are looking forward to it but we know it will be challenging."

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