Brian Rice stressed his Hamilton players must travel to Celtic Park on Sunday with a positive mindset.
Neil Lennon’s side begin their quest for a 10th successive Premiership title with the visit of Accies, who were in 11th place when last season was cut short due to the coronavirus crisis.
Boss Rice knows his side face a tough opening-day task but insists they must try to be confident.
He said: “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.”
Asked about the game being played behind closed doors, Rice said: “It is the same for Celtic. It is 11 versus 11.
“The fans are a side issue. I have heard it said it will be an advantage for us.
“But my players like to play in front of crowds and test themselves, that is what we are all in football for, to have these big games.
“It is obviously going to be different, strange and will take a bit of getting used to, but I am sure it will be okay.”
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