Brian Rice wants his struggling Hamilton side to play with freedom against Motherwell in Wednesday’s Lanarkshire derby.
With four Premiership matches remaining Accies are bottom of the Premiership, two points behind Kilmarnock and three behind Ross County.
Despite the fraught situation, the Hamilton boss wants nerves to play no part against their near neighbours.
Rice said: “It can get nervous but it can also come down to confidence and how you prepare.
“I give them the freedom to go and play and if they make a mistake so be it. We just get on with it. We win together, we lose together.
“I don’t think you can go out there and give your best if you are in total fear of the situation.
“We might have a little more benefit where we have quite a lot of young players who don’t really understand the word fear going to play football.
“The older ones do because they know what is at stake with families and the sort of things we have spoken about many times before.
“The players will have the freedom to go and express themselves. I want them to enjoy it.
“I keep saying; ‘If there was a cup final tomorrow, how would you prepare?’ And that’s how we will treat it. They will go out and give it their best shot.”
The signs are good for Accies.
They have won all three matches against Motherwell this season and are unbeaten in the last five meetings against the Fir Park club, winning four and drawing one.
However, Rice, played that record down, saying: “It is going out there with the attitude of we are not getting beat and that is the attitude we are going to have. We will try to have a go.
“We have been fortunate to come out on top but it counts for nothing.
“I never think that a game before counts for anything going into the next game. It is on the day. It is going to be very difficult, it is the local derby.
“If I was in Motherwell’s shoes I would be looking at the last few results against us and thinking come on, we need to change this, we need to get a result here and I am sure that’s what Motherwell will be doing.
“In the same vein, I will be saying we need to go again and we need to go harder.
“Of course it is a good record and we hope we can improve on that tomorrow night.
“But football isn’t like that, there wouldn’t be cup upsets and shocks if everything went to plan. It is all about on the day.”