BRIAN RICE was delighted with his team’s performance on Saturday as he praised his team’s character.

Alloa blew league leaders Cove Rangers away with a terrific first half performance before Jon Robertson’s red card gave the visitors the momentum needed to snatch a point.

Rice, speaking after his first match in charge of the Wasps, said: “They’re league leaders for a reason. A great squad – a very, very good team.

“I was absolutely delighted with the first half, the way we played, the way we created chances and the two goals we scored.

“We always knew, playing into the wind in the second half, that they’d come at us but I thought we were comfortable.

“The red card changes the game, no doubts about it. But, all credit to my boys. They could have crumbled. They didn’t, they hung in there.

"Playing against the league leaders with great experience, my boys kept going and going. We deserved a point.”

Rice continued: “I don’t look at the negatives. It’s all positives for me, it’s too easy to look at the negatives.

"I’ve come here, it’s my first game, I’ve had two training sessions with them.

"First half, I thought we were terrific. [We] moved the ball well, created some good chances. [In] the second half we showed real good character to dig it out.”

Asked about his players giving their all, Rice said: “I’d like to think so. It’s not for me, they gave it for the club and the people of Alloa.

"All we want is a wee bit of backing from them and I’m sure if they keep giving that effort and that commitment and playing with a wee bit of flair in the first half like we did then we’ll be okay.”

What was clear was Rice was happy to be back on the pitch after some time out the game.

“It’s brilliant,” he continued. “It’s great to be there on a Saturday. The boys have been terrific all week.

"That was a tough game for us. They’re a really good team; Paul’s got them playing good football, but, like I say, my players stood up to it and I thought we were exceptional.”

Rice made a slight tweak to the formation for Saturday, but admits the red card had an impact on the game.

He said: “We’ve had two sessions. I like that system, it’s flexible.

"Getting a man sent off caused us a big, big problem, but it’s just one of those things that happens in football. You’ve just got to adjust and adapt.

"Rory McAllister comes on and does what Rory McAllister does, he scores a goal. But, we didn’t crumble and we’ve come away with a valuable point.”

After just two sessions, Rice picked up a point against the league leaders. It wasn’t a bad first week in the job.

He added: “It’s been brilliant. Everybody at the club has been really good with me, really welcoming. Everybody works hard at this club and that’s all I ask for.

“I said to the boys in there as long as you give everything you’ve got, you don’t go home with any regrets and you go and enjoy your Saturday night – that’ll do for us and we’ll be okay.”