HAMILTON manager Brian Rice says it is too early to worry about relegation as he declared himself pleased with his players in defeat at Celtic.

The Accies remain bottom of the SPFL table, a point adrift of Ross County having played two games less, and with just one win in their last seven games.

But Rice believes that his side will survive if they continue to show the same desire that they did at Celtic Park.

"I thought the boys were exceptional,” Rice said. “I've come here against as strong a Celtic team as possible, and we've lost 2-0 with an early goal in the first half and an early goal in the second half but we never crumbled.

"We stuck to our plan, defended resolutely, I thought we defended fantastically well and there were a lot of good performances, I'm proud of the way the boys played and I looked at the end there and had a smile on my face, with them bringing on Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie, and I'm bringing on Andy Winter and Reegan Mimnaugh - I think that just shows you where both clubs are.

"So for us to come here and play like we did I'm delighted.

"It's far too early to be concerned about where we are and we have games in hand as well, we've been here tonight against Celtic, very difficult, but I think you saw the spirit and the effort from the boys and we had a couple of chances in the first half that we should have taken.

“That might have spooked them a wee bit. I'm not saying it would have, just that it might have spooked them a wee bit.”