Kenny Shiels Comments 2012-13
(Stand-In comments from Jimmy Nicholl are also
June 15th 2012 thru
June 21st 20013
If it came out of Killie boss Kenny Shiels mouth
then you'll find it here (if it was picked up by the press.)
Dates shown are dates reported
June 21st on Killie Escaping a Fine On His
last thing I ever wanted as manager was for the club to suffer. It
would’ve upset me if Kilmarnock had been given a fine. So the news they
won’t be punished is extremely satisfying. I only ever wanted the best
for the club — and I still do.”
June 16th on the Events at
I see what has happened over the past few days, in terms of the response
of the Killie fans, maybe getting rid
of me will end up being good. Removing me might give a new energy, a
fresh momentum that was probably needed at Kilmarnock. It seems to have
galvanised the support. Some of the fans aren’t happy and it might give
them that wee bit of siege mentality that is needed. The past week seems
to have bonded the supporters and brought people together. Things had
maybe gone a bit dormant in the second half of the season but my
eviction seems to have sparked the supporters into new life. So my going
might prove to be a positive in terms of triggering a new energy about
Rugby Park. I just want the best for Kilmarnock FC. I put everything
into my job there and I want that club to thrive. I’m not bitter or
twisted about it in any way. I hope and believe people will see the
fruits of my work in a successful Killie in the future. I want to stay
active, I want to go out and mingle. I love football and want to stay
involved in the game as much as possible. Jobs don’t just come to guys
like me – you have to be out there, be active, be alive to things. I
know Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, and Dermot Drummy, who is
the Chelsea reserve team coach. So I’m going to these two clubs to
observe some things and I might also go to Europe for a week or so. I
feel I can never stop learning as a coach. I just want to stay fresh and
see what opportunities might come up.”
June 11th on Leaving Killie by "Mutual Consent"...
"I'm heartbroken but that is football. It's hard to take but I will just
have to get on with it and try and get another job somewhere. I think
I've left Kilmarnock in really good shape. We have got stability and
I've built the foundations. But I feel that I've been the victim of
falling in love with the football club. I tried to over protect the club
and that was my biggest weakness. I just want to apologise to the
supporters for that. I treated the club like my family and I love my
family. I loved the football club too. I didn't set out to harm the club
but as I tried to protect it from what I felt where injustices, I became
a victim of that."
On His Spats with the SFA…."No regrets".
"The chairman was good enough to give me the opportunity to manage the
oldest club in Scotland and it was an honour to manage a fantastic club.
It's been something I will treasure the rest of my life. I feel in love
with it too much and that was my weakness. I want to thank Michael for
the opportunity to manage the club because without that opportunity I
wouldn't have had some great experiences."
On His Successor…. "I would recommend Jimmy to
manage the club and Garry Hay to be his assistant."
May 18th on the Buddies Post-Match... "Our
home form hasn't been good enough,
You are trying to establish the reasons and
I don't necessarily feel it is the way we play. It is just
all the clubs, we have the most empty seats proportionate to the size of
the stadium, which doesn't lend itself to a good atmosphere. I'm not
saying that's the reason, but it may be a contributing factor.
Out today were [Manuel] Pascali, [James]
Dayton, [Rory] McKenzie, [Paul] Heffernan, [Mo] Sissoko, young [Ross]
Barbour, and [Rory] McKeown is just back for his first game. It left us
really short-staffed and people have to understand that. We had to dig
below where we have been digging and bring in some players who are very
young. That has an impact on how you set your team out.
I hope that by blooding young players in the
top team now, the club will reap the future benefits. It's a foundation
period we have gone through to build for next season,
I am really excited about next season, when
we bring in more experienced players to work along with the kids. We are
ahead of a lot of clubs in terms of a long-term future. It's only six
years from the first professional club in Scotland reaching 150 years
and I want to be on that journey - I probably won't be, because we'll
have dips and they'll bring in a new manager. But as long as I have left
good stability and someone can come in and carry on cultivating the
seeds that have been sown, [that will be fine]. It's a great club."
On Boyd Staying at Killie...
"I spoke to him this week and he is optimistic about staying,
His agent will speak with the chairman. It's
a probability more than a possibility." Match
May 17th on Signing Carlisle's Peter Murphy... “We have
Peter up and I am really confident we can cross the line with that one.
He is an experienced centre-back who has
over 400 games for Carlisle behind him.
Peter really is a top player, he fits our
needs and he has the quality as well.”
On Craig Samson...
“I’m not alowed to speak about other team’s players.
We have to have two goalies but there are a
lot out there. It wouldn’t be fair to talk about him because we’re
playing St Mirren.”
15th on the Hibs Post-Match... "I felt we were the
team who were most likely to win the game and we were going for the
winner. It looked like we were going to win the game if there was going
to be a winner. Then, unfortunately, we conceded two late goals and Hibs
have gone home happy. Good luck to them but we will certainly not be
doing the lottery with the way things are going. We have to take it on
the chin and move on."
On Ross Barbour (ankle problem)... "We don't know how he is yet. He is
in the hospital for an X-ray and we haven't got the results of that. The
swelling was quite quick, which wasn't a good sign. We don't know the
outcome just yet."
May 14th on the Hibs Pre-Match... "We are expecting a
really good game. We are looking forward to the occasion because it's to
celebrate the life of one of our supporters. That's foremost in our
thoughts as we go into the game. Someone said to me that it just puts
things into perspective and that life is more important than football.
But Hibs will want to win to get seventh place, as will we. That will
make it competitive and I'm expecting it to be a really top game with a
lot of good young players on show from Hibernian and Kilmarnock."
May 11th on the Dee Post-Match..."The
only difficulty I have is that Chris Johnston is another James Dayton,
is going to be hard to referee and they have to develop an understanding
of a seven-stone player who has a change of pace,
He was fouled twice in the box but didn't
get the penalty. Anywhere else on the pitch and it's a free-kick.
When he beats people, he doesn't dive
When he gets the ball, his mechanics and the way he
changes direction so rapidly in that moment make him vulnerable. The
slightest touch will send him down. Scottish supporters need a player
like that, they are paying 20-odd quid to get into a game, so we have to
protect him and I felt he wasn't protected. Once the referees like
Euan get to know him, they will say, 'Wow,
he's a good player, let's give him protection'.
We had seven kids on today and you have to
say, they're like goslings,
They mature and they surprise even me. I've
worked with so many good young players - that's the future of our club.
The remit, which hasn't been given to me by
the chairman, it's been given to me by myself - which is what I'm good
at - is to develop young players, sell them and pay the debt off and
make us a resurgent, positive club in the black.
That's going to take a lot of time. I want
to be part of this journey. I've never been as happy to win a game of
football as I was today, because they're brave, these goslings. They get
the ball, they express themselves and make mistakes - they're
inconsistent. But the crowd is proud of them and I'm proud of them."
May 9th on the Dee Pre-Match... "You
can create any permutation. You can ask what Hibs' frame of mind will be
approaching a cup final in a couple of weeks. Or what will Dundee's
frame of mind be, having just been relegated? Next week, it will be St
Mirren and what will their frame of mind be now that they're safe?
You can create analogies on teams' mental states and where they are
psychologically. But it's a game of football. It's coming to the end of
the season and Dundee have proved beyond doubt that they deserved a
place in the SPL through their play. They've been brilliant and deserve
On Sir Alex Retiring... "Everybody takes
inspiration from someone - that's what keeps us living. He is one of the
people you look up to, especially with what he has achieved and what he
has done for such a fantastic club. He's a unique person. There's no
such thing as being irreplaceable - but he probably is. No-one will
manage a club of that magnitude for 26 years. No-one will do that again
because of the way football has gone."
On the Passing of Killie Fan James Haswell...
"It's hard. Our thoughts are with the family and that's really about all
we can say on it. You can only offer your heart-felt sympathy.
There is nothing you can do that can change anything and that's when you
feel so helpless. I didn't know him that well but I remember meeting him
in the bowling club. I was round there one night after a game, just to
take the trophy round. I met him and had a good bit of banter with him.
He was a real supporter".
May 6th on the Hibs Match
Being Abandoned... "We
had all the relevant medical teams on hand to administer first aid, It
is a suspected heart-attack and the victim has been removed to hospital.
We don't have any further news on that and our thoughts are with him and
his family and we hope he makes a recovery. It is a sad occasion for
everybody and it's one of these unfortunate events that happens from
time to time."
May 4th on the Hibs Pre-Match...“We can chip away at the
debt if we’re putting viable assets on the pitch. You can’t dress it up
any other way.
The public think you have lost the dressing-room –
and I have. I’ve lost Matt Kennedy, Liam Kelly, Michael Nelson, Gary
Harkins, Rory Boulding. Others are out with
Some of those going was by design. If people don’t
want to be here, you let them leave and we brought money in.
However, people have to understand where we
It is important we have a model that’s sustainable.
You have to take hits at certain stages and it’s happening right now.
People must be patient because what we do
today will affect tomorrow.”
May 3rd on His "Monster" Comments Relating to Celtic...
"In comparison to the rest, I was using that terminology
of monster and surely everyone understands what the inference was - the
size of the club, They are a monster in comparison to the likes of
the other clubs and we were speaking about the advantages they have and
Neil would have as a manager. What I was saying about that was
that they can afford a really good training ground and sports science
and all of those things and they also have the weight of QCs to go and
represent them at judicial panels. I am not criticising Celtic for
that because that's only natural that you avail of that facility that
On Telephoned SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny ... "Vincent
understands what context it was said in and that words can be taken the
wrong way, Hopefully that will clear the air. I don't want to be
critical of Celtic. That's not what I'm about. I've had it up to here,
They are watching everything I say and I have to be very careful and try
to stay below the radar. From now on, I'm not going to answer questions
on anyone else, opponents. I'm just going to speak about myself
and my own club."
Apr 30th on Neil Lennon Needing To Lighten Up...
“Unfortunately, Neil takes life too serious and he has to
lighten up. He is at a really good club. They need to be
represented by dignity and class. I have always been frank and honest
with everyone and sometimes you have to be critical of people. I like
Neil and I have nothing against him. I am an avid supporter of him. It
was a joke about Paranoid FC, but it seems I’ve hit a nerve. I’ve
praised Celtic an awful lot this season. But if people haven’t got a
sense of humour, I can’t give them one. I worry Neil thinks I have got
something against Celtic — that’s not the case. Celtic are the best team
in Scotland. I’m probably jealous of Neil. He is managing a fantastic
club. He shouldn’t get annoyed at someone as insignificant as Mr Trent.
I am proud of Celtic and there is the Northern Ireland connection with
the club through the likes of Martin O’Neill and Neil. Being from there,
I hold them in high esteem. Celtic have really good players and Kris
Commons and Gary Hooper would probably have been in my four.(SPL POTY).
But I don’t think that we should be disrespectful to the four players
who have been picked. Three of them scored at the weekend and confirmed
they deserve it.”
27th on the Dons Post-Match... "I thought we played well
in the first half. We sustained our belief in how we play and we made a
few mistakes but we looked the most fluent of the two sides.
Conceding the early goal didn't help and there were a lot of stoppages
for free-kicks. We chased the game, and I thought we showed great
promise. In the second half, we seemed to drop a little bit deeper and
give them more territory. Every single chance they had, bar one, was the
result of mistakes from young players learning the game. If you were
summing up the performance, you would say it was a brave performance,"
They were brave in where they took the ball, and they were brave in the
position they got into. It's not as if we're lacking confidence."
April 26th on Celtic Having No Players Nominated for SPL POTY...
"Celtic make a song and dance about everything, don't they? Paranoid FC.
I think they deserve to maybe have one in
with Kris Commons, who is a good shout, but I wouldn't get all paranoid
about it. It's the players' thing, they deserve credit for how they
Certain managers are egotistical. I think the (list
of) four nominees is a fair assessment of who's done well.
Andrew Shinnie has been right up there as
one of the best this season.
I can only judge against us and Shinnie,
Michael Higdon and Leigh Griffiths have all done well.
Who from Celtic would come into the
category? How many games did Kris Commons play? James Forrest got young
player of the year last season and he only played about 20 games.
On Manager of the Year... "If you are
going to go into managers, then Stuart McCall (Motherwell) and Terry
Butcher (Inverness) are the top two for me and then Derek Adams (Ross
Steve Lomas (St Johnstone) gets overlooked and Allan Johnston has
done well (winning the Second Division with Queen of the South).
If you'd said to me at the start of the
season that out of all the domestic leagues Celtic would be one of the
last to win it in Britain, I'd have been surprised.
To not win the league until the end of
April, I would have said that wasn't possible."
on the Hearts Post-Match... "To get booed off at the end
is brilliant. It makes me feel so good because it's testament to how far
we have come - to lose 1-0 against Hearts, and unfortunately.
That's testament to the expectations of what
supporters are seeing.
Sometimes it's frustration and I understand
it. It happens to all of us in our work and what we do.
Everybody starts at three o'clock, he
starts at 10 past,
He deserves criticism. He went to sleep.
A lot of people said it was offside, I don't
know. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but they scored early and got the
We were the better team in the second half but
Hearts dug in.
The shape was much better in the second half and we
created chances for the forwards but we just didn't finish. We didn't
get the rubs but we have gone to Tynecastle
and got the rubs.
In life in general you have to take defeat on the
chin and realise it's not going to be your day."
6th on the Dee Post-Match... "We just didn't deliver.
I have to accept responsibility as I'm the one who selects the
team. I don't want people to blame the players and I'm very low at the
People at the club and the supporters trusted me
and I just didn't deliver, I feel really down
and I have to take the blame for most of it. There were nerves there and
the players were trying to play long balls to
Boydy, which wasn't us and that was to our detriment. We ended up
lacking invention and I'm really disappointed. You put the whole season
into this particular opportunity to get into the top six with two home
games and you need to win one of them. We get one point from six and
it's just hard to take. I have to accept responsibility for that.
I'm really sorry for the supporters but what
can you do? There's no other way you can apologise and I've got to
ensure I do better for the next game."
April 5th on the Dee Pre-Match...
allow a “celebration without guilt.
When we beat Celtic in the League Cup Final
a year ago it was a celebration with guilt because the father of Liam
Kelly died in the immediate aftermath of the game.
I’m a volatile and emotional man and if we
make the top six ahead of city sides likes Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United that’ll be some achievement
Leading my club to something like that is a
challenge to me as an individual and I would celebrate accordingly.
I was so envious and jealous of St Mirren when they beat Hearts in the League Cup
Final last month that it brought tears to my eyes.
They celebrated without guilt and on
Saturday I want my players to pass the test of their temperament so that
we can do the same.
If they are as good as they can be then they can’t
be classified as failures. It’s my job to manage the mentally weak and
the mentally strong and make the team dynamic.
I’ve taken on the authorities and been
punished for it on occasions.
But I only ask that I’m treated the same as
everyone else. That’s why I’ll be interested to see what happens to Neil
Lennon when his appeal against a touchline ban is heard next week.
I’ve been the manager here for nearly two
years and there’s only one thing wrong with the job. It’s the games that
I’m a high-emotion bloke and pride takes over at
times. I have an obsession with being successful and I’m not like other
managers in one respect.
They can have a sense of security based on the fact
they’ve had successful playing careers. The sack for them means they can
play a little golf.
I’m not in a position to do that. I’ll be 57 later
this month and I’m riddled with arthritis. I’m not made for life and
have to do well. That’s what drives me on.
I take my work home because a manager has a
responsibility to question himself.
Others can hide their emotions but I fall
into the Paolo Di Canio category of openly displaying how I feel.
That's why I’ll recognise the value of a top-six finish.
Scottish football is captivating. Damn good.
It’s light years ahead of countries like Ireland and Finland –and they
have roughly the same size of population.
But I see that better than some Scots
because I’m not from here.
“Television has killed the game massively.
It has also accommodated football with the fees it pays for coverage of
matches. But not enough to compensate for the loss of people.
I would take the gamble and do away with
live matches and see if that had the effect of making people return to
grounds to watch football.
Ten years from now you could have no TV sets
and people watching football on their iPads.
I’d rather get back to the day when a fan
could relate to his local club and feel an affinity with them. I want
Killie to influence the working man in our part of Ayrshire so that our
games are his release at the end of a working week.
I don’t want the game to be lost to people
who’d rather play golf because they take their sons and daughters out
That core of grandfathers, fathers and sons that
goes to the football has started to diminish and it’s a cause for
We’re on television less than
club but we’re one of the most attractive teams to watch. When I took
over from Mixu, the club had scored four
goals away from home over the course of the entire season.
But then, of course, progress brings with it
expectation and that’s something we have to satisfy this weekend at home
3rd on the Buddies Post-Match...
"St Mirren were
sharper and better than us
in the first half,
I felt that we came back into it well.
It's not about making the top six, it's
about progressing as a club,
St Mirren is a
fantastic team. I'm surprised that they haven't made the top six. It's
good to get a point against a fantastic team."
Apr 2nd on the Buddies Pre-Match... "St Mirren are a very
good team, they are a top-four squad. There is no doubt about that. They
have got quality players - great combination players. It's a tough,
tough game for us. They
are in 10th position but they are not far off fourth and I think Danny
knows they are good enough to be up there in the top four. Certainly I
do with the players they have. It will be a big ask for us to get
something from this game and we are approaching it in that manner.
But it's a great opportunity for us [to seal
a top-six place] and we will do our best, that's all we can do."
On Dayton... “We have lost Dayton, which is a big
loss for us. He’s a big player and adds a lot in the attacking third. He
was on the verge of an England call-up, we were thinking. I know you
might find that funny, but other players who have been recommended for
are not in the same league as James. I don’t see why, just because he is
wearing a Kilmarnock shirt, he can’t be recognised as an international
player and I think he is on the verge of it.
It’s obvious that because he is playing for
Kilmarnock, (James) wouldn’t get the same recognition but believe me, he
is good enough. Technically (he’s good enough) and his game
understanding has improved considerably since he came up here and over
the last four or five months he’s been one of the top players.”
30th on the Ross Co Post-Match...
think Ross County had a lot of possession, but we got our goal and the
tactics were to go deep and forfeit possession in their half of the
pitch so it looked as if they were dominant.
We knew we would have to defend a lot of
corners so it was a great learning curve for the kids but we coped okay.
We used different methodology to win the
game today. We played Ross County at their own game and Cammy Bell had one save to make.
On Making the Top 6..."There's
a long we to go. We finish with two homes games, but they are very
difficult ones. There are no easy games in this league. Forty-seven
points is our target, but we've got to win our next game, that's our
game in hand. If we can get something from that it puts us in a decent
Mar 29th on the Ross Co Pre-Match..."It might be a bit
early [for Boyd to start] - maybe the St Mirren game.
working hard over the break and he has used those three weeks to keep
himself fit and sharp. Everybody else is raring to go. It will be a hard
match. They have done really well. Derek [Adams] deserves so much credit
and hopefully he gets it."
9th on the Saints Post-Match... "I'm disappointed for our
supporters who made the journey on a cold day.
I felt we shaded the first half play but
there wasn't much goalmouth action.
At half-time we said if we pushed on we
could win the game.
But it was poor, poor play to give away a corner
and then no one picked up Murray Davidson for their goal.
When you prepare for a football match you go
into specific details and it is so annoying.
That is twice in six days we haven't
This puts us in a position where we have to win our
last three games before the split.
We played six matches in February and now
have three weeks off in March. It is hard to fathom."
Mar 8th on the Saints Pre-Match..."I don't think we will
change our methods. We can't change now. We are in a critical part of
the season. We've
been playing football all season. We're not going to change now and
start hoofing it up the pitch. We've got to have faith and confidence in
what we are doing. It's worked to a certain degree all season so you
can't just decide to throw that all away. Those mistakes we made last
week [in the 4-2 defeat by Hibernian] were ones we can't afford to keep
doing but hopefully it was just a one-off and we'll get back to doing
what we do well against St Johnstone."
On Heff Being Feb POM..."Paul should
get player of the month. I can't see anyone who has played as well as
Paul Heffernan. There's nobody close.
I'm expecting him to get it. If he doesn't,
I'll be disappointed.
He's been brilliant for us and the way he has come
back from injury has been impressive. We are delighted with him."
3rd on the Hibs (Cup) Post-Match..."We have performed
remarkably well this last while but you have to give Leigh Griffiths a
lot of credit, you can't overlook that, but the basic defending of long
balls was really, really poor and that was the key.
We looked the team that was trying to play
with invention and creativity but if you can't defend straight balls
like that...they must have thought they had won the lottery. It was
unbelievable, really poor." Match
27th on the Hibs Post-Match..."I thought we had it won
when we scored the second goal. I thought it was a great game of
football. We took the lead right after half-time. All our kids, who did
a great job tonight, were involved in the goal and it was a great finish
from Sammy. We hit the post and looked like we were going to add to it.
We dropped off, gave them the pitch but they
didn't look like they were going to hurt us apart from corner kicks.
We then went up the park, regained the lead
when young Jude Winchester rifled it in.
Then it was a foul on James Dayton, I think,
but referees are only human and they didn't spot it. The players are in
the dressing room gutted." Match
Feb 26th on a 12-12-18 Lge Set-Up... “You are going to see
a lot of pressure put on to teams and managers.
Managers will be fired more readily next
season if the leagues are restructured. If you don’t make the top eight
then chairmen will be thinking, ‘Let’s get the axe out and we’ll change
it for the run-in. We can’t have him in for these next crucial games
after the split.
It will not be fair unless you stay with the status
quo.I genuinely think the SPL is a good product at the moment and it has
been better because managers haven’t been sacked.
We’ve had continuity and Barry Smith was the
first to be axed last week.
We are the role model of a club. We grow our
own players, we are working on the policy of no loans and we play the
With 10 teenagers having regularly featured in our
team this season, it is the way forward.
I’m proud of where we are, sitting in
seventh position. There has been a lot of hard work put into them and I
expect that to bear fruit more so next season because they’ll all be a
year older and will have had our education
On the Hibs Pre-Match.....“We
need 10 more points but face a tough game as Hibs are a very physical and experienced side.
Hibs are only a couple of points off the bottom two but there are eight
teams fighting for five positions in the top six.
A couple will drop out over the next two
sets of fixtures. Hopefully we won’t be one of them".
a debut for Kris Boyd...
“He’s looking good and sharp. But games get you fitness more than
training. Kris could feature at some point but
I need to juggle it in a way where he gets match fitness without it
being detrimental to the team.”
23rd on the Dons Post-Match...
"They started better than us
and got themselves in front, but then we dominated the patterns. We had
a good grip on the game and I thought - this is going our way, but it
when we lost [Borja] Perez and after that I thought our defence became
I'm trying very hard to discipline myself
not to speak about referees,
I'm not allowed to speak about referees and
I'm not allowed to speak about other teams because they'll fall out with
On Re-Signing Kris Boyd... "I'm
delighted to have him on board. I am a little bit disappointed
with the press,
They couldn't make the effort to get him in a
Kilmarnock strip. He
played a lot of games for Kilmarnock and it was a bit insensitive in the
current climate to put him on the back page with a Rangers shirt on.
It is great to get Boyd in the squad and he had an impact on the
game itself because Heffernan was the best player on the pitch,
He has made a major contribution to this
club, gave up some of his money when he left to the youth department –
he's a legend here.
What does he bring [to the team] We know he's the
all-time top SPL scorer so the obvious answer is he brings goals. He
also has a bit of charisma and a good demeanour about him and that's
something I always welcome into the chemistry of the squad. I sense a
hunger about him."
16th on Heff's Hearts Hat-Trick... "He's gotten the
chances and he's put them away and you have to give him credit because
you look at what he is playing against,
There are three international defenders in
there for Hearts. It
was a good outcome and the boys have shown good character. To beat a
club the magnitude of Hearts three times in one season is terrific.
What you get in February every year is
pitches that are not as fluent,
That means there is a reduction in the
passing volume you can achieve in the game.
I was pleased with the way we passed it. I
think we counter-attacked well. The co-ordination of our movement was
outstanding. It was a massive win for us. We know that if we want to get
in that top six we need to be beating our nearest challengers.
It's good to take points off them; that's
on the Caley Post-Match... "I was frustrated he didn't
give the penalty and I turned round and kicked fresh air and there was a
bottle lying on its belly and it touched the bottle.
I said, 'Look, I didn't mean to kick the
But the rule has been changed because Neil Lennon
and Steve Lomas had theirs rescinded.
Neil Lennon kicked a bottle here and didn't
get anything done against him.
But then I'm not Neil Lennon.
'We have to do this because there is someone
watching me up in the stand.
He said, 'Don't worry about it - nothing
will be done.
It's a ridiculous ruling.
I think we deserved it because we showed a
great desire and commitment to get something from the game.
Inverness missed a few chances but you have
got to give our players credit."
9th (Jimmy Nicholl)
on the Well Post-Match... "We had a great start to the
game and although we were lucky to get the own goal I thought here we
Then we did nothing except face waves of attacks
from Motherwell when we just couldn't get the ball out of our own half.
I said to the players at half-time that they
didn't have a hope in hell of winning the game if they continued like
that - and I'm sure they were sitting in the Motherwell dressing room
wondering how they were 1-0 down at half-time, and I was asking how we
were 1-0 ahead"
Feb 7th on the Well Pre-Match... "Cillian is going to be
out for at least a month, possibly four to six weeks,
When you lose six players in the transfer
window, then lose your top goalscorer
through injury, it's a big hit to try and sustain the challenge against
the big clubs.
2nd (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Caley Cup Post-Match... "We
knew it was going to be difficult because of the way they have been this
season and what we had on the park, with the inexperience. The manager
had a decision to make and it turned out to be the right decision to
stick with the young lads, Barbour and Gros and O'Hara. They did really
well. I thought Willie Gros was excellent up front, O'Hara's composure,
and Barbour's willingness, and then the attitude of the senior players
who might have been disappointed they didn't start. Heffernan got two
goals coming on and showing a wee bit of composure, and everything went
right for us on the day. It just shows you how substitutions go for you
accidentally and it has worked out for Heffernan today, but there is no
getting away from his composure for the first one and his quick-thinking
for the other one."
1st on the Caley Cup Pre-Match...
teams left in the competition and there are 16 teams who think they can
win it. It's a tournament steeped and rich in history of small
clubs going to Hampden, and I'd like us to be one of them. Queen of the
South went to the final, Gretna went to the final. If they had gone out
with a mindset that they can't win it, then they wouldn't have got to
the final. "But it's a long way away, we have got to try and get through
Inverness and everyone knows how well they are going."
To Marie Osmond at Her Rugby Park
“You need to be a special person to wear the Kilmarnock jersey and you
It is fantastic that Marie has come down to the
club, she is a true star and will be made welcome any time.”
Jan 30th (Jimmy
Nicholl) on the Celtic Post-Match...
the chances Celtic created, Neil will probably think it should have been
seven or eight,
It would sound strange that we were quite happy.
We tried to change the system to match
Celtic and our boys aren't used to playing like that, and they adapted
We changed it, then once James Dayton came in to
the middle of the park I thought we would pose them a few problems. I
thought we were well in the game after a dodgy start. We had a perfectly
good goal disallowed, but these things happen and you have to just get
on with it. All
in all, we just couldn't cope with it at the end - balls were flashing
across the face and they were lifted because of the crowd. The last
15-20 minutes were really difficult because they were getting at us and
we couldn't get out. But there are positives - particularly in the first
half there were signs that the football was coming back into them."
Jan 29th on Neil
"Neil and I don't
socialise, In our jobs you don't really have a
great social life anyway, but Neil and I aren't in the same social
circles. I guess we're a bit cool with each other. We are two completely
different beasts. Neil and I might have a drink after a game, but we do
it because it is protocol, because of this hospitality thing after a
game among managers. Sometimes
the last thing in the world you want is this situation where you've just
been done by a penalty, or you've
underperformed, and you have to go and meet the victorious manager.
You're standing there thinking: 'I don't really want to meet you.' Neil
or anyone else will feel exactly the same if they lose a game. You just
feel it is a bit of a pretence.
The one thing I will say about Neil Lennon
is, I'm really, really jealous of him,
I'm jealous of him because he is managing one of the biggest clubs in
the world and he hasn't really had to go through an apprenticeship. I
think that fact might make it difficult for Neil down the line. If or
when he does leave Celtic, and he has to manage a club like Kilmarnock
or Bristol Rovers or wherever, that is going to be a culture shock for
Look, Neil knows how to do his job, but in one
sense the SPL is ridiculous: you've got Celtic and you've got the other
11 clubs. Celtic have already won this league. You've got Celtic players
on £20,000-a-week and you've got players at Kilmarnock on £200-a-week,
sometimes £400- or £800-a-week. It is absolutely ridiculous. The
disparity is unbelievable. The test will be when Neil doesn't have that
cushion. But I also believe he is a really intelligent guy, and he might
well have that element of adaptability within him.
I think I get on well with all the managers
I think football managers have to have mutual
respect. You always know that a rival manager is doing his utmost for
his club. Sometimes I kill myself, because I focus too much on how good
or how bad my team was, when maybe I should be respecting the opponent a
I'm also one of those managers who tends to expose
people in a roundabout way, unintentionally. I tend to talk about the
game and how we should play it, and then I see the other managers having
a wee nibble at me, because they're not happy with me. Well, that's just
me. Good luck to Neil Lennon, I say. In fact, good luck to all of them."
Jan 29th on New Signing Sammy Clingan...
"Sammy is a really good
player. He passes the ball well, gets into good positions and knows the
game so he is one we need badly,"
27th (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Dee Post-Match...
“If the manager got
four games, I might get two — and I don’t fancy
Billy Thompson taking over! Kenny will always
look to defend himself. I heard him say this is all
based on two games and it’s grown arms and legs,
which is true. It wasn’t a bad result but it
wasn’t great, either. A clean sheet and a point is
something to build on. The manager’s standards are
so high when it comes to passing. He wants us to get
Borja Perez on the ball to create things for Paul
Heffernan. They must always try to reach those
standards. We’re not asking them to do anything they
can’t do. They are capable of producing that
standard of football. But the opposition are trying
to stop you doing it, so you have to give them
credit as well.”
Dec 18th-Jan 25th (Updated) ...
Killie manager Kenny Shiels feud with the footballing authorities
19th on the Arabs Post-Match...
"In the last three
months there was so much uncertainty around the club
could see there was a bit of relief in the demeanour
and the attitude of the players,
They have got quality players and now they know the
destiny of the manager, they are playing to impress
their new suitor.
You could see that psychological lift but by
no means were they better than us so that gives me a
lot of satisfaction.
If we're not far away from Dundee United we're
moving in the right direction. We were unbeaten in
five games but the performance was heartening."
Jan 17th on Squad Planning...
hopeful we can reduce the squad more because it sits with my long term
It means we can get more of these young players in
and around the first team. Lots of kids here deserve that chance."
Jude Winchester, Ross Davidson, Rory
McKenzie, Craig Slater, Chris Johnston, Mark O'Hara, Robbie Muirhead and
Ross Barbour are the youngsters the Rugby Park boss will turn to in the
weeks ahead. The
kids have moved to a level now where they're as good as quite a lot of
the senior pros. You
don't need to be Einstein to work out what's best for the club, not
what's best for the manager because it brings problems. What's best for
the club is, if these kids are good as the senior pros, you've got to
get them in there."
With midfielder Kelly joining Bristol City and defender Nelson leaving
for Bradford City,
are a big loss,
You can labour on that and bring negative energy to
the club or you can look at it from a positive perspective and see that
it's creating some long term options for the development players."
On Agents Calling Him...
"Agents think there's an opening here and they
never stop wringing me, Believe me there has
been some good phone calls about good players.
need to look these kids in the face and says this is the time.
to provide a pathway for the benefit of those young players which in
turn will benefit Kilmarnock who pay my wages. And the club needs to
benefit from the young players we've worked so hard to educate and bring
got to make sure these lads get a chance."
Jan 16th on Losing Kelly & Then Nelson...
have accepted a bid from Bradford and I assume Michael will be a City
player soon enough, Michael will be a massive
loss for Kilmarnock. If you look at 2012 then Kelly and Nelson were two
of our best players. They were integral and a huge part of the success
story of Kilmarnock in 2012. It is important
that we look after the finances of the club as they were not players
that I wanted to lose. "We can't look a gift
horse in the mouth and we have to look to the future. The money that we
have got in for Liam and Michael is not a lot.
Kilmarnock are a club that is massively in debt in Scottish
terms. The debt we are in supersedes the size of the club and I'm really
sad to lose both of those players."
Jan 10th on Ibrahim. ..
“I would class Rabiu as
a player we can develop.
All of my energy has to be sourced towards getting
results, but also to combine that with reducing the debt at the club.
And if I can marry those two — getting the
debt down, as well as managing results — then everything will be fine.
But it’s a difficult recipe. It’s important
for me that we develop young players who are going to have a fine future
in the game and hopefully benefit Kilmarnock at some point.
I think Rabiu’s
career is on the descent and I don’t want to give him any discouragement
when I say that. But he needs a kick-start — and I feel we can provide
Having looked at
Rabiu’s career, it’s clear the ability must be there. He’s been at clubs
such as PSV Eindhoven and Celtic.
That tells you something.
But, for whatever reason, his career hasn’t
People in the game and scouts I’ve spoken to have
said Rabiu has great potential.
But I don’t want to be sitting in four
years’ time describing him the same way — as having potential.
He has to start fulfilling that
NOW. And if we can get
him to his maximum potential, then we’ve got a good player.
The first thing we have to do is make him
feel comfortable. To give him an environment where he’s going to
Rabiu could feature immediately, it depends on how
At the moment I’d be keen to get him involved in
our Under-20 game next Wednesday against Hamilton Accies. After that we’ll see.”
SFA disciplinary panel at Hampden next Thursday...
“I’m only focused on the team, not all of
these judicial things.
I’ve got a good, clear conscience.
I appreciate I’ve got to stay a bit quieter
and I’ve been doing that."
7th on Keeping Liam Kelly...
"Liam is happy to stay
with us. I'm sure he'll get plenty of offers but hopefully we can keep
him at the club.
In fact we would be keen to tie him to a new deal."
Jan 2nd on the Buddies Post-Match...
"I have to watch what I
say, Mark (O'Hara who conceded a penalty) was
unlucky. Lets put things into perspective, I'm the manager of Kilmarnock
and I'm going to be biased towards my team,
If you want me to speak about decisions in a
game then interview the referee, I will talk all day long in response to
what he has said.
That's the way it should be, I will not answer
questions about referees and I'm emphatic about that.
I'm not doing any more interviews until the
referees are interviewed.
The conditions were really difficult for
both teams and I was very pleased with the performance, we were in
control of the game, but it was taken out of our hands - the penalty
changed the whole shape of the game."
Jan 1st on the Buddies Pre-Match...
“What would be my wish
“Impartiality would be good and level playing
fields, things like that.
And the good thing would be to do away with
fourth officials because clubs of our size have to pay for five
Fourth officials don’t serve any purpose at all.
Football would be better without them to be perfectly honest.
It’d be good if we could have a bit of peace
to do our job. That would be a positive step forward. The dug-out would
be a better place to be.
And then there’s the referee’s observer. A good
plan for the new year could be to introduce a referee’s observer
It’s been better this season as clubs are closer
together. Inverness and Motherwell have kicked on really well and
they’ve opened a gap.”
Danda Ibrahim ...“He’s
signed a two year deal with us,
I believe it’s quite a coup for Kilmarnock
and we are a good fit for him.
Rabiu had an offer from a club in Russia but he and his advisors
thought it would be better for his
to stay in Scotland and they were equally as keen as we were for the
deal to go through.
We signed him on a free transfer.
He’s away with the
Nigeria squad for the AfCon at the moment,
I believe January 9 is the deadline for
them to name their final squad. I would quite like him to be name in the
squad for his confidence.
If he is named then as
soon as they go out of the competion he will
join up with us.”
Some Opinions on
Killie Boss Kenny Shiels
Dec 30th on the Buddies
“They have done well
this season especially after losing two of their best players through
injury with Darren McGregor and Paul McGowan being out.
They had to cope with that and with them
being a small club it is difficult. I know exactly what they are going
through because we lost Paul Heffernan,
Cammy Bell and James Fowler, who are all top players.
But they managed to hang in there and are
nine points off the bottom now which is great.”
29th on the Well Post-Match...
"I'm sure it was an
entertaining game for the neutrals and we made a contribution, which was
I felt in the first 20 minutes of the second-half
we had control but you know what a goal can do - it gave them a great
momentum shift and they were really hard to play against at the stage.
There were purple patches for both teams and
that's how football should be.
The boys showed great spirit after conceding
the second goal, we came here under-strength and to get a point is
You are always down a bit when you concede a late
goal but you have to reflect on the whole game and it was a very good
advert for the Scottish game. December has
been a good month with two wins for ourselves and two draws.
As I said, this was a good result. Our
midfield was good and had spells in the game but Fir Park is a tough
place to come and get something."
Dec 28th on the Well
"It was a good result
against Hearts but I want to get back to the way we are capable of
playing. It wasn't a vintage Kilmarnock performance so we are looking at
ways in which we can improve upon that."
On Losing Players (Along with Motherwell)...
“We don’t have sympathy with Motherwell over the prospect of them
losing players because we’ve lost more players than any club in the last
We shouldn’t isolate Motherwell and say they’re
affected most by it because they’re not. We’ve lost
Kennedy – I could go on and on.
There’s better options for them financially
and that’s just part of it. There’s no point in thinking negatively
about losing guys. We’re trying to keep what we have.”
On Liam Kelly Moving On in Jan..."It's
the same as all players, the press have sold Jamie Murphy and they are
selling Liam Kelly. The boy is happy here and we hope to keep him here.
He is still under contract. I haven't heard anything from other clubs,
not a thing."
26th (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Hearts Post-Match... "In
the first half our composure was good but in the second half it was
waves of attack,
It was all rushed clearances. They put us under
pressure and they kept coming back and we couldn't get out.
It was all about winning a game of football
and the only way they were going to do that was by showing a real spirit
and by fighting their corner and doing their jobs,vIt
wasn't a display that the manager would like but sometimes needs must.
was a hard-fought second half but we had got ourselves in a good
I would love to get a performance at home and
dominate from start to finish but the game is not as simple as that.
That's seven points out of nine and we are
looking to go on a wee run. We have two away games coming up," said
Nicholl ahead of matches at Motherwell and
won away from home before but it is going to be difficult - that was a
good result for Motherwell today [beating Aberdeen 4-1]."
Dec 25th on the Hearts Pre-Match..."You
can look at Hearts' financial problems sympathetically. But you can also
look at it in a way in which he's getting a little bit of a siege
mentality there to try to help them.
That happens in football. Hearts are a big
club and we prepare for that in the way in which we show them the utmost
giving young players a chance and it's tremendous what they're doing.
John McGlynn is a super guy and he's doing a
On His Management Style..."I'm
trying to not tell the truth as much and retract from what I say,
There are so many in this industry that have
good political skills. I've got to see what I can learn from them.
I don't take life seriously - the only
thing I take seriously is football,
Outside of that, I'm not a bad person. I'm
sort of like a monster in the game, and I try not to be, but that's me.
try to change it, but if I change it, do I weaken my managerial skills?
I'll probably not change, to be honest.
I'd say about 98.8 per cent of the time I
wind people up. That's just the way I am,
At school they called me poker face.
Sometimes I kill myself because you are like two different people.
In the football environment you are one
person and when you leave that and go home you are another person.
That's the problem with the job that I am
in. But it's a great place to be, Scotland, and I really enjoy it.
has a massive energy and passion for football, tennis and everything and
I respect that so much."
23rd (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Hibs Post-Match...
"We're disappointed, because we lost the ball on the halfway line and
they scored from it, I thought, defensively, we could have dealt with it
a bit better. I'm disappointed because we had a good start, I thought
they played well today, but when you get off to a good start, you're
hoping then to get a second one, and we nearly did. Apparently, we
should have had a penalty as well, which I didn't see - but fair play to
Hibs, I thought their movement and passing was good and they posed us a
few problems without Cammy Bell having much to do. But we were
below par today. We didn't create enough chances for the strikers,
our play just wasn't good enough, We were hoping after last week when we
got three points away from home that we would get a wee run of home
wins, but we've been disappointing at home this year, to be honest.
We can't put our finger on it all, because we have a good squad of
players and good quality in the team - you've got to give the opposition
credit. If they stop you playing, then you have to give them credit. We
have to work harder to get there and don't concede the fact that if they
stop us passing the ball around, then that's it. We have to work harder
off the ball to get ourselves good possession."
Dec 22nd on His Squad
want to move some players out, to grow our own and to bring the youth
This is a development club and that’s the process
we’re putting in place. We might release some players and offer them
Other clubs are watching my players every week but
I’m sure if they were interested, we’d have heard from them by now.
We have good kids here and I want to manage
them and give them some space to grow. That’s important for their
development and we haven’t been doing that in the last three or four
I’m conscious of the fact we need to make room for
them to develop and they can’t do that if they’re not training with the
I know what my squad size should be but I want it
to be filled with more youth.
We have Ross Barbour, Ross Davidson, Jude
Winchester, Rory McKenzie, Chris Johnston, Mark O’Hara, Rory McKeown and others who are coming through.
You can’t put a 100 per cent prediction on
development because it fluctuates so much. But we have players who I
feel can get a really good career in the SPL if not higher than that
It’s important, when we use our experience,
when to throw them in and when to take them out.”
Dec 21st on His SFA Issues
... "I've got a clear
conscience, When you're sinned against like I have been then you
don't regret anything. No-one has shown remorse to me. I'm surprised at
that, but it's important that we put it behind us and move on and I move
on where I've got no fear because I've got a clear conscience and that's
a big advantage.
Asked how he thought his current
dispute with the SFA would end,
....."I don't know, it's way out of my thoughts at the moment. My
behaviour's been impeccable. The problem is I've been truthful and it's
not good to be truthful in this industry. It doesn't help you. It's a
On Re-Signing Liam Kelly... "I think
he's got some time to stay here and it's important that he stays where
I think he's due to sign a good contract, as far as
I know. Talks will be started.
We want him to stay in an environment that's
good for his improvement and the SPL's
certainly providing him with that.
We're a development club, we're developing
players and Liam was let go by MK Dons don't forget. We picked him up
and we've developed him to this level now.
We're doing it with other players and that's
us, that's what we are. We're a club that's got a big debt and we carry
that and it restricts you.
If we can get consolidated and develop some
more players so that we can sell them and prepare to gradually pay off
the debt then we become a solvent club and we move forward from there.
That's my remit and that's our ambitions; to cut the debt down and have
some success along the way."
On Killie's 2012...."What we've
achieved in 2012 has far surpassed what any other club in Scotland have
Under the circumstances, way, way far ahead of any
other club. It's immense what we achieved, absolutely immense.
We've beaten Rangers, we've beaten Celtic
twice and we've beaten Aberdeen away.
We've beaten Hearts away, we've beaten
Hibernian away - all in a calendar year.
What a magnificent effort from our players
who have come from little clubs.
What the players have achieved and my coach
Jimmy Nicholl has achieved is nothing short
On the Hibs Pre-Match... "They're up
for this one. It's
a big blow [not to have Liam Kelly]. He's a player whose been doing
really well. It gives someone else the chance to step in and put in a
good performance. Hibs started well, Hibs have taken a little dip, but they're one of
the big four heavyweights.
So we've got to compete against that and
it's not easy."
Dec 18th-21st... Killie
manager Kenny Shiels feud with the footballing authorities will
continue into the new year -
15th (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Dons Post-Match... "The
second half, Aberdeen certainly came at us and posed us problems, I was
grateful to see the second goal go in. We didn't do enough with the ball
when we had an advantage. It was a great run from Borja Perez and
he kept on going, I thought he had over-run it. It's hard to say, and
I've not seen the replay so I can't say whether it was a penalty or a
red card or not. That was a wee break. We weren't doing too badly.
The way things have been recently, we wanted to keep it tight. It
probably sounded negative to the players, but we we're just hoping to
come up here and have a decent performance, and hopefully take something
from the game. When you play against 10 men and are 1-0 up, you have an
advantage. You should be confident and should be making the opposition
work hard to get the ball off you. We didn't do that, and the players
know they needed to do more with the ball. Personally, I was just
delighted to get the points in the bag. The manager will be saying
something different but, for me, it was all about getting three points
away from home."
13th on His 3 Match Ban...
"I'm disappointed at
My freedom of speech has been taken away.
(He was cleared of "dissent,
adopting an aggressive attitude).
I'm not pleased for being cleared for that,
I'm frustrated because ultimately we lost that match.
In my defence I brought video evidence with
me to Hampden and they ultimately believed me because they threw out the
comments made in the media following the home match against
Inverness on 3 November....
"I feel I haven't done anything wrong,
I don't feel guilty. We have lost six points
because of inaccurate refereeing decisions. We lost our goalkeeper and
two penalties against us in that game [versus Inverness].
St Johnstone, after three minutes we lose
our captain; after six minutes we lose our manager from that environment
and that's hard to take and I will fight the corner of my club. My
behavious has been impeccable. I don't know
how I kept my composure in the St Johnstone
game and the Inverness game. It's been proven today I wasn't aggressive.
I contested the decision in a manner which was placid and full of
composure. The referee never said anything bad about me, it was the
fourth official who made all the decisions. All three decisions were
[from] the fourth official. When there was no fourth officials, if we
could go back to those days I'd be delighted because I don't see the
need for a fourth official. If there hadn't have been a fourth official
in the Kilmarnock-St Johnstone game, the
Kilmarnock captain would not have been sent off and the Kilmarnock
manager would not have been sent off."
Dec 11th on the SFA Being Out To Get Him...
“I have to stop getting involved because I have been told they are out
to get me. I don’t
believe it, but I have been told that. “And it’s important that we try
not to speak about those things and get back to speaking about football,
such as the Queen of the South game.
I can’t say who told me that, but people are saying it. People I
don’t know and some I do know. I was told when we won the Cammy Bell
case that they would get us.
It was just a punter who told me that but he seemed to be in the
know“John Fleming (SFA referee’s chief) came out and said I hadn’t
contacted him. But I contacted him five times between the Saturday and
Monday, so I was a bit taken aback by that.
On the Pascali (Saints) Red Card... “We
are astonished by this decision.
According to the rules, Manuel Pascali should not even have been
booked. He entered the challenge on the safe side of the opponent, with
one leg. The referee made a mistake. It was a blatant mistake. How they
have come to this decision is quite unbelievable
We need answers. I want to see the report. I’ve lost a lot of
faith in the system because the system isn’t working.”
9th on the Celtic Post-Match... "I
think there is a distinct clarity for Celtic now as to how they are
going to approach the next few months.
You could see in their body language that
there is a great relief in achieving what they have achieved and now
they can concentrate on domestic football.
I knew they were going to be very positive
having fulfilled their ambition of qualifying for the Champions League
(last 16). It has a big bearing on how they felt within themselves and
you could see that.
That is the best Celtic have played in a long time,
I would say.
It bodes badly on us as we have to play them in
December and January."
Dec 8th on Alan Robertson & Killie's Youth Development Program...
“The supporters feel even closer to the team when
they see homegrown players running out.
Eventually, I want to see eleven of them
going out for a game.
The problem is the need every now and again to sell
our best talents.
But my dream is still to achieve a complete side of
boys from youth development. That would be the ultimate for me. It might
sound idealistic — but it’s those kind of dreams that keep you going.
If we can even get closer then we’ll be
I’d need to be here a long time. But I think within
four years we can achieve it.
We won at
Parkhead with academy lads 16-year-old Mark O’Hara and 19-year-old Rory
McKenzie in the starting line-up.
And they were an absolute credit to
themselves plus Jimmy Nicholl, Alan
Robertson and everyone else involved in our youth set-up.
We want to have that conveyor belt, we have
to keep it running, it can’t stand still.
When Michael Johnston gave me the manager’s
job we never spoke about the youth development aspect. But I’ve always
been mindful of it in my coaching career.
Good management is leaving behind stability
and a legacy of players coming through. That’s exactly what I want for
So when I get fired, or whatever else happens to
me, the next man coming in inheriting something good.
Alan’s done a magnificent job with the
youths. He’s been given more of a key role while also being involved
closer with the first team players.
I need to utilise Alan’s skills. I don’t
know if that’s been done in the past.
But he’s a good judge of a player and also
has a good knowledge of the game.
Alan, of course, is also a great Kilmarnock
His association with this club as player and coach
speaks for itself.
He has massive integrity in how he works with young
players — and for me that’s a great attribute. I know he is someone I
can trust and that’s the key to any successful youth programme.
We have to manage our young players in a way
that makes them feel wanted. If they feel wanted then they express
themselves much more freely.
And these boys are expressing themselves at
We also have to thank our sponsors QTS and their
man Alan Mcleish. His support has been
Alan helps us at all levels, including youths, and
on against Luxembourg...
“Liam’s a fantastic lad and this season he’s
scored the clinching goal at Parkhead before
The call-ups for him and Cammy Bell were marvellous and I’m proud of the
fact we’ve had lads involved at every international level.
Matthew Kennedy’s no longer with us, having
gone to Everton, but I want to mention him too.
He got recognition for Scotland at under-17
and, latterly, under-19 level.
We lost him this season but it brought in
important revenue for the club.”
Scotland under-16s: Devlin McKay, Dylan Poolar, Adam Hodge, Greg Kilte;
Scotland under-17-18: Matthew Kennedy, Robbie Muirhead, Mark O’Hara,
Chris Johnston, Rory McKenzie; Northern Ireland under-19,21: Rory
McKeown, Jude Winchester; Scotland full: Cammy Bell, Liam Kelly.
1st on the QoS Post-Match... "The
Football Association must have changed the rules on tackling and I am
trying to figure out what they are. I couldn't see anything wrong with
the tackle and I would be very disappointed if I was with Queen of the
It made it more difficult for us as it gave us more
space and time on the ball, almost a reversal of last week when Pascal
Manuel was sent off for a similar kind of challenge.
The boys kept the ball well but we had a
lack of penetration as we had too many options.
I am delighted though to get through and
thought it was well deserved. We started
last season's league cup run
with a victory over Queen's so who knows where
we can go from here."
29th on Having To Face SFA Disciplinary Hearing...
"Managers do an interview after a game by mandatory
measures and referees should do interviews after a game.
It gives them a chance to explain why
they've made a decision.
I think there has to be changes in the treatment of
The way Neil Lennon was treated for a lot last
season was abhorrent.
I really feel there should be better methods of
dealing with managers and more tolerance.
Nobody likes decisions going against them in
terms of the game, but certainly I'm not happy with the way I've been
treated because I represent Kilmarnock Football Club and I don't like my
club being treated in such a way that it's becoming too common now."
On Using Insulting
or abusive language
(during the 2-1 loss to St Johnstone at the weekend)..."I
didn't use abusive language at any time.
There are too many children down in that
front area for me to use abusive language and I have to respect that.
At no time did I use abusive language and I
would just like to see the referee's report and then I can make
decisions on how much further I will take it."
On the Queen of the South
would love to win the game to get through after all this stuff we've had
to put up with and the players have had to put up with.
They've been brilliant. They played 90
minutes last Saturday with 10 players, which is quite unique.
There were three minutes and 50 seconds
added on so you would have to say that was a fantastic effort and a game
we should have won.
I told the players this morning that the worst
thing we can do is feel sorry for ourselves.
We've lost six points in two games at home,
which were disproportionate to our performance.
They were two games we could have won and
we've been deprived of the opportunity to do that.
And we now have to go up and see people at the SFA despite
mistakes which have cost us six points."
24th on the Saints Post-Match... "The
fourth official made the decision (Pasca Red Card) - a young lad,
Seemingly, he conveyed that information to the referee that it was a red
card - everybody was amazed at it. Steve [Lomas] got in his [the
fourth official's] ear and I'm not blaming him for that, but he was
right in his ear when it happened and that can have an influence on a
young boy, Maybe if I have a criticism of the Referee's Association,
they should maybe appoint a strong character in that fourth official's
place, because he can be influenced. It was obvious it wasn't a red and
it's disappointing that we've had two reds in our last two home games.
We appealed the other one and got it rescinded, but we didn't get the
three points back that we lost against Inverness. We're not going to get
these points back either. There is no way there is a vendetta against
Kilmarnock by referees because we won the case with Cammy Bell - I want
to make that abundantly clear,"
Nov 23rd on the Saints Pre-Match...
"We got a real thumping in Perth, it was our worst
performance of the season so we are looking to redress that. St
Johnstone were all over us like a rash, they were outstanding. It was
2-1 to them but that flattered us. It is the first time in a long
time that we didn't contribute to a game and we want to try to perform
better for our supporters on Saturday."
On Liam Kelly's Injury...
"If he has torn the ligament or ruptured
them, it could be three months, but it could be six weeks We are hoping
to find out in the next 48 hours. There is some ligament damage to his
shoulder after falling on the training ground in an accident. We have
just got Paul Heffernan, Cammy Bell and James Fowler back and now we
have lost Liam, which is a bit of a blow."
16th on the Arabs Co Post-Match..."It's
unfair to Dundee United to say we squandered the lead,
They threw everything at us.
We didn't play much football because we knew
we would need to fight and battle. Because of the atmosphere we had to
go in there and compete. To come away from here with a point is a
fantastic achievement. I thought both sets of players were fantastic.
We had to match how committed United are
and our boys deserve so much credit,
They are a fantastic team, we can't overlook
that and they were hurting us with their wing play. The referee did well
when players were rolling over looking for penalties. But take nothing
away from United, they deserve their draw.
We play a bit open, which is a weakness, but
we want to entertain. We kept two up front for the whole match, with
support players. The players gave everything they had.
Why do you need to tell lies
(based on Wilo Flood's comments)
to garner motivation? I'm hurting about that
because I've never said anything bad about Dundee United."
Nov 14th on Scottish Football Re-Alignment...
"You've got the SFA, the SPL and the SFL - they'll
have to have the Third World War first before anything happens!
So we'll see who comes out on top in that!
are jockeying for position, they're looking after their own little
empires. These things happen but someone has to give ground.
about me and what's best for me the individual. If you get me in a room
and ask me what's best for football I would have to make consideration
as to what is best for football first.
Obviously I have to think and opine into
what's best for my club, but what's best for football should be the
common denominator - not what's best for me and my position in the SFA
or the SFL or the SPL.
It shouldn't be about me - me being the person
who's looking after my position. A lot of people in the suits will make
opinions and decisions based on what's best for them as individuals.
Therein lies the problem!
I think it's a good product as it sits and
trial and error would come into play as to whether 16 would be better,
have to sit down and talk with football people. They need to speak to
people at the coal face who would know a little bit more of what's
happening on the football side of things. I would like to see what the
managers and the staff all think. I think 16 would be really good - I
think 12 is good also. People like to see changes taking place but they
are only good if they are for the better.
risks with all formats. Clubs have got into the 38 game situation. Is a
16 [team] top league going to give them only 37 games and the loss of a
home fixture? That
could be significant for a Motherwell or a Kilmarnock if they lose a
home gate. So there are things that need to be taken into
10th on the Ross Co Post-Match...
"We have got to get some of the young
boys through and we sacrificed that today by bringing in senior players.
It was a good game of football and Ross County made a fantastic
contribution, After the 0-0 draw with them earlier in the season I
said we should both get points taken off us as it was boring game.
But this time both teams contributed to a really good game of football.
I played experience today and we can't play our strongest team and
sacrifice our youth development, But today was not a development
day and we showed a lot of creativity and created about 10 or 12
chances. The movement of the front two pleased me but the work rate
throughout the team was great. We had a couple of efforts cleared
off the line in the first half and at half-time I told the players that
we were the more likely team to score and after we did in the second
half we took command. "I would say we were shades in front before
we got the first goal but Ross County were threatening. We were
frustrated because we were knocking on the door for so long. We had a
couple cleared off the line. Their keeper spilled a couple and
there was an obvious penalty that wasn't given."
3rd on the Caley Post-Match...
"It was the first 30 mins that killed us. We stood
off them! Kenny then told the BBC Scotland's Chick
Young that he can't 'tell the truth' about his
thoughts on the 2-1 defeat by Inverness CT and that
he's reported referee Euan Norris for comments (a
sarcastic remark) made to him post-match. He then
asked Chic Young to ask the SFA why he cant tell the
Nov 2nd on the Caley Pre-Match...
"Inverness are strong favourites because of their
current form. They've scored the most goals in the
league, they are the top dogs. We have to look to
restrict them and if we can put on a good defensive
performance, I'm sure we will do well. Inverness are
now unbeaten in eight games and have netted in every
single match so far this season. The players know
they've created history and that's good. But that's
gone, that's literally history now. We are going
from playing the best team in Scotland to playing
the best team on form in Scotland. It's always
important to get a win. On the back of the victory,
it sends out a message that we are turning the
corner. We have won three out of our last five and
it would be really good to win this game. I'm sure
we can achieve that if we get our organisation and
27th on the Celtic Post-Match...
"It was befitting that he scored the second goal. It was a
very emotional time for Liam and the club back in March, The
person I'm most pleased for is Liam Kelly, We never
really got a chance to celebrate the last victory against
Celtic at Hampden and it was a really euphoric occasion. I
just said to the boys, let's have a really good night and
celebrate for Liam Kelly. There's no such thing as
perfection, but that was pretty close to it in how we
organised and how we set up, The best way to sum it up is
the nullification of a quality team - Celtic, we have to
remember, have just come off the back of playing Barcelona
and a fantastic performance. They were fresh and fit, we
were still hungover from the St Johnstone game, when we lost
James Fowler. I really want to say this because
there's two generations of supporters who haven't witnessed
that and the ones who came along today, I was really pleased
for them," said Shiels, picking out teenagers Mark O'Hara
and Rory McKenzie for praise. What can you say? The boys
were exceptional. A young 16-year-old made his debut at
right-back, with an 18-year-old just in front of him and
they were unbelievable. We were as good this week as we were
bad last week," added Shiels. "I was so angry with myself
all week. We had a good game plan and I think it worked very
well for us."
Oct 25th on the Celtic Pre-Match...
“If we exceed expectations then it will be printed in a way
that Celtic were tired. That’s just the way it is. If they
don’t match up to an inferior opponent they will be
questioned rather than us praised. But it’s a huge ask of us
because Celtic did the country and SPL proud in Barcelona.
What they’ve done is great and it’s my ambition to take
Kilmarnock into Europe in the next four years. Tiredness
will not be a factor in Celtic’s performance against us
because it only lasts 48 hours. The lactate in the muscles
will have dispersed by now. I’ve not mentioned 1955 to my
players because the motivation is self-explanatory. We have
been written off.”
On Mohamadou Sissoko ..."I have
still to select the team so I am undecided about him, but
there is a chance he will be on the bench at least."
Oct 24th on the Celtic Pre-Match...
"I wasn't born (in 1955 when Killie last won at Parkhead) so
let's not say any more than that, It's been a long
time and it will be good to try and do something about that.
We've set a few records at Kilmarnock. You can keep using
that as motivation but it doesn't always work. But if we get
back to performing well, then I'd be happy that we can
achieve something from the game. We've been poor in our last
couple of games but we want to get playing how we know we
can. We're going to look at [the Celtic match] it as a game
that we want to learn something about ourselves and that's a
big thing for us. We had a meeting about how we played on
Saturday. St Johnstone were very good and I don't want to
deflect from that, but part of it was that we were also
poor. This is a big chance for us to learn and improve and
take that into the Inverness game [the following] week.
Celtic are tip-toeing through the league. A bit like Rangers
[in the third division], they are top of the league and they
could probably kick on as soon as it gets more serious. They
are trying to marry their league form with their European
commitments. But they will be ready for our game. They look
forward to playing Kilmarnock most because we are open
20th on the Saints Post-Match...
"When you play two at the back you do get caught and we
accept that, but we were chasing to get the equaliser. We
don't want to take anything away from St Johnstone because
when you win games and you go on a little run it provides a
positive energy and there's a chemistry in the St Johnstone
team. They were really strong and committed. We tried to
match that commitment and I can't say that our boys weren't
committed to try and stop them from playing and trying to
produce. After they got the goal we changed it and we got
control of the ball, and we looked the more likely for the
last 15 minutes of the first half and the first 20 minutes
of the second half. We said at half-time they were there for
the taking. They were on the ropes, there's no question of
that. The best team won on the day and we're not taking that
away from them but, unfortunately, we weren't at our best
Oct 19th on the Saints Pre-Match...
"We didn't take much of a break this time and hopefully it
will work in our favour, because we did a lot of game
preparation this week on the tactical side of our
preparation, So we are up and ready and we will see where
that takes us. St Johnstone are the form team in the league
and it's going to be a tough game. It was good to have them
back but the game maybe wasn't appropriate because Dundee
had a lot of young players in the team, As a result of that
we have planned a closed-door game against Dunfermline at
Kilmarnock on Tuesday to give them another game. But it was
good to have them back and Hefffernan scoring helped. I'm
happy with the squad, although you are never content in this
6th on the Dons Post-match... "I
just think Steven (the referee) could have done better
today, I think he'll be the first to admit it wasn't
one of his best performances, James Dayton was fouled
a lot today. I thought there was an imbalance in what
could have been done, I'm not looking for excuses, but
it did impact on the gameflow. I don't think we
deserved to lose the game, I'm not going to be too harsh. We
can't play like that against Aberdeen, they're too good.
However, we've come off the back of two really good ones and
we just have to start working towards the next game, and
hopefully we can win that one."
Oct 5th on the Dons Pre-match...
"Because we have won a
couple of games people raise expectations but we were
seventh last season against massive adversity and having
lost a lot of quality players in the summer, a lot of the
goals went out of my team, if we can get away from the
relegation zone then that will be an achievement of its own.
If we can get seventh this season that would be remarkable.
What we achieved last season was one of the best in Scottish
football for a long, long time. It wasn't recognised by the
media which rankles with me."
29th on the Hearts Post-Match...
"I thought we deserved the win beyond a shadow of a doubt, I
thought we were disciplined and controlled in the game.
We knew as the away team, coming here, we were going
to have to defend a lot of free-kicks and corner kicks.
The psychology of the game was similar to last week,
we got the goal and ourselves in front and we were then able
to nullify their threats and the players had the confidence
to play and win victory of the ball, which I was pleased
with. We're not
far off the bottom, and we need to be aware of the teams
that are down there. We need to stay above that danger zone
and stay in the top six, away from that position."
22nd on the Buddies Post-Match...
"When you have two teams like
Kilmarnock and St Mirren coming to the stage you are going
to get football and there's going to be rotation and
movement in the pattern of play, I have so much
respect for the way in which St Mirren play and today's game
was a great advert for Scottish football. I thought
that in the games between the two sides last season the team
that had the most of the ball ended up losing. St
Mirren were very good and for the first 20 minutes of the
game they had victory of the ball, but we changed a few
things and from being 1-0 up we were worthy winners. It was
good for Cillian to score, we self-destructed with two gift
passes to them in the early exchanges and Kyle Letheren was
outstanding in that period of play to deny St Mirren a goal,
Getting the goal put us in a positive note. It's too early
to be looking at league tables but very nice to get a
result. Too often last season we were draw, draw in
successive games, we will continue to try win every game and
get away from draws."
Sep 15th on the Hibs Post-Match...
"He (Cairney) ran straight into my player looking for a
penalty, There was no contact. I don't have to see replays.
We know it wasn't a penalty. I wasn't happy about the
penalty decision, it came at a bad time. I had a good chat
with him (the ref) and he treated me like a human
being. The referee had a good game, but there was an
ulterior influence in there. The mistakes he made influenced
the outcome and it went against us today. We were very
unfortunate. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. Hibs are
having a good run and everything seems to be going their
way. If you look at what they have done to win the match,
they've got an own goal and a disputed penalty. I don't
think they've done enough to win the game and I certainly
don't think we have been bad enough to lose the game."
Sep 14th on the Hibs Pre-match...
[Hibs] have definitely got that energy about them. They are
a fantastic club and a big team. They are a team that is
where they should be, I feel. They are in around the third
biggest club in the SPL now so that brings its own
On Signing Riordan... "He's an out-of-contract
player who we are facilitating, that's all, We have done it
with Mark Kerr and loads of players who want to keep their
fitness up until they get fixed up.
On Cillian Sheridan fitness..."I have to have
a chat with him about that, He has done a pre-season
with Sofia and I need to work out if he has enough game time
to come in. There were other more lucrative offers for him,
I want to stress that, "His agent worked in close
contact with myself and he felt it was a good move for him
to come here at this time of his career. I concur with that,
I really think we've a chance to develop the player. That's
our priority, to improve players. If we have enough
intelligence about us the team will become better."
1st on the Ross Co Post-Match... "It's
not what I came to Scotland for - it was
anti-football. It was poor for the spectators, the
teams kept giving each other the ball.
The fact we got a point is good but on
reflection it wasn't a good game of football.
I don't think Ross County deserved to win
and I don't think we deserved to win.
We knew it would be difficult at set-pieces,
that was their only threat really. We endured that
and did well in that department but we weren't
Inside I'm hurting because I want us to pass
the ball and create chances and give the crowd
something to shout about.
Ross County have a great spirit and they
work hard. They deserve a lot of credit to get to
the SPL, a lot of people at the club deserve a lot
of credit but I'm sure they are disappointed in the
Aug 30th on Kennedy...
Shiels described Everton's bid
was disrespectful to the club and unsettled the
player, which I wasn't happy about.
that can change and if we were speaking tomorrow it
might be different but hopefully it won't be.
We don't know if Everton
will come in with a new offer,
We want to keep him and
believe staying at the club would be better for his
development as a footballer.
The window shuts
tomorrow [Friday] and hopefully Kennedy will still
be a Kilmarnock player.''
Hamstring injury victim Jeroen
He'll to be missing for
in Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell...
"I find it
hard to believe
It is a bit late, isn't
it? There's not been a thing [from Rangers]. If they
were wanting him you would have thought it would
have happened maybe a week ago but I can't see it
28th on the Stennie Post-Match...
you look at what happened on Saturday when we were
fantastic against Dundee United, we didn't get much
credit and it was all about how poor they were so I
don't want to come across that way and talk about
how poor we were.
I'd rather give credit to Stenhousemuir rather than talk about
some of the faults in our play.
They came here and played really
well, were 2-0 up at half-time and it should have
been more, and they were better than us and we're
disappointed with the outcome.
That's the downside to football - the
highs and the lows - and we've lost another player
tonight with Jeroen Tesselaar going off after feeling his
God knows how I'm going to put a side
out for Saturday now with the injuries we have, but
that's the challenge."
27th on the Stennie Pre-Match...
“We’ve been so proud of that trophy we
have shown it off to the local public. We’ve gone
everywhere round Kilmarnock with the trophy.
It’s like one of the family now
— we treat it like one of our children. I look at
that trophy as often as I can. It’s important for
Pressure is when someone has
cancer. From a sporting context I see it as a real
challenge for us to not give up this trophy.
I’m not saying we’re trying to
win it again but we want to progress and take each
obstacle as it comes as we did last season.
We have to be professional in
the way we address this and try to get into the next
Dundee United were the last side outside the Old Firm
to defend the League Cup — way back in 1981.
We’ll put out the strongest team
available to us, as we did in every cup tie last
season. That’s being respectful to the sponsors, the
tournament and the fact we’re
playing against a very good team.
The Kilmarnock public will see a
good team against us at Rugby Park.”
25th on the Arabs Post-Match..."If
you take the goals out of the game I thought it was
a very good performance from us,
We did well in the first half
and, without intimidating them, and I thought we did
enough to get in behind them in the second. The rain
at half-time helped as it was going to favour a
I was surprised by United, who
normally play through Jon Daly but today they played
from the back.
It is great for the young players as
the supporters have an affinity with them and you
can hear that from the stands. But it is a lot of
responsibility on young shoulders, so with Paul
Heffernan out I am still looking for an experienced
striker to give the young players some support."
Aug 24th on Celtic Advancing in the Champions
“A place in the group stage for Celtic would lead to
positive feedback from abroad. Scotland would then
be perceived as a good place to go by players.
Killie would be regarded as part of the same SPL
family and we might find it easier to tempt targets.
On League Reconstruction... "Fans influenced
the decision to exclude Rangers from the top league
in the first place. Now it looks as if it’s the fans
pushing for a 16-team SPL. I’d like to see the
game’s decision makers call the shots instead of
people who are operating outside of the football
industry. Reconstruction has to take place for the
right reasons and that means the good of the game in
Aug 20th on Cammy Bell's
"We have to remain positive, injuries
happen at all clubs,
It's been very unfortunate in
that we have had three operations in the one week, but we
There are young players ready to come
in and we have a replacement keeper in Kyle Letheren."
on the Well Post-Match...
"I think it could have went either way,
we were playing against a counter-attack team and we knew
going into the game that Motherwell are a dangerous team
away from home,
It was poor play for the first
goal and the second the player wasn't tracked, we have to
look at the imagination side and work on that in the next
We need someone to hold up the ball a
bit better and link it up, we are missing Heffernan and you
can see how it has an impact on our performance.
It's early yet and too early to
make assessments, it could have so easily been a draw today
but I still feel if you take Harkins out then we lack
Aug 16th on Signing Borja Perez...
will give us creativity. He’s not a striker as such, but he
brings a spark. He’s a bit like Dean Shiels".
On extending the Transfer Window…
“It’s not fair on clubs where this is their spending
time.Surely with these extenuating circumstances we could
extend it for a couple of weeks because clubs haven’t had
Aug 15th on Failing to Sign Colin Nish...
I'm gutted about this one
falling through as I'm a fan of Nish and think he done very
well for us when he was here. He wasn't appreciated enough
by a lot of fans but I feel he could do us a turn up front,
as his goals per season with us last time was pretty good".
11th on the Caley Post-Match... "Both
of them (Gary
Harkins and James Dayton)
could potentially be long term.
James has hurt his knee and we won't know
how bad it is until the swelling goes down.
Gary's hit the back of his head, so you are
possibly looking at two weeks out for him if it is a
I thought for the first 20 minutes we were
still on the bus, but after we made a couple of changes
within the team it helped to alter our style of play.
I felt we dominated the game for long
periods, but we couldn't really create chances and we are
going to really suffer one of these days because of that.
However, the boys deserve credit because
they were up this morning at 6am and put in a great shift."
on Signing Colin Nish...“Signing
a striker would be a priority for us,” he said. “I’ve been
trying to get Colin Nish on loan. He’s never worked under a
manager who likes to play the ball to him on the ground –
everyone else had played it in the air to him and that’s not
his strength. I’ve tried to get him because he’s got good
feet, he can hold the ball up and he’s a former player as
well, of course. St Johnstone were also in for him but now
that they’ve signed Craig Beattie that might end their
interest. However, we won’t be able to get him in time for
Saturday’s game at Inverness.”
On the Caley Pre-Match... “Last week’s game was typical of
two teams who weren’t ready for it. It favoured them because
it was so early in the season. We have sharpened things up
since then but like most of the teams in the SPL we won’t be
up to speed until September. Inverness have great
spirit and the players are committed to their manager,”
added the Kilmarnock manager. “We know it is going to be a
tough game and they have motivational tools, like saying
‘the central belt doesn’t like us and they don’t want us to
be in the league’. I agree with him, I am not being
critical, I am saying that it is great that he does that and
so he should. He wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t.
It is never an easy place to go, everybody keeps saying
that. They get into you and make life difficult. They are
good games against Inverness and hopefully we will get a
good crowd on Saturday.”
On Signing Borja...."Things
are ongoing with that. It is at the early stages,"
4th (Jimmy Nicholl) on the Dundee Post-Match...
"It was frustrating because we would have
liked to score goals. We don't have Heffernan and Dean
Shiels - and that's 30-odd goals and assists for the team.
We were hoping we would get a bit of joy. We knew what our
problems were going to be and we just couldn't score when we
were on top. It was disappointing to be honest with you."
Aug 3rd on the Dundee Pre-Match..."We
have lost eight quality players, we have lost goals, we have
lost a lot of assets in the playing squad, "I'm sure the
expectations of the fans will be realistic. We have got to
look at the reality and have a clear understanding of where
we are. There is no way supporters' expectations are going
to be greater. They understand the predicament we are in,
the extenuating circumstances of the club. It's in debt and
we have to manage our finances accordingly. The expectation
of the club is to stay in the SPL and build on our youth
policy so that we will progress gradually over the next few
Aug 1st on Hitting
the Pubs to Drum Up Season Ticket Sales...“We
want to embrace the community and bring the club to them and
I hope there’s reciprocal positivity.
There were a lot of people in the pubs who
were surprised by my visit. We got a few extra sales from
it. People came to me and said they would purchase a season
I didn’t have a pint in any of the pubs as I
was driving. There was mutual respect more than anything.
People enjoyed the conversation about
Kilmarnock and how much they want us to do well.
We did it all on Saturday. It was either
that or go and watch Hibs against Huddersfield!
I’ve done it before in Northern Ireland.
People have to understand we’re trying to provide
entertainment for them.
There is hatred in football which I’m not happy
about. But I always think if you love something you strive
to get better and the people around you strive to get
better. That’s a great vehicle to have and we’ll continue to
There’s a great feeling of that about this
time because people here love Kilmarnock and we have to
reciprocate that love.
We delivered season tickets to people in Edinburgh
for some fans who bought them online. Rather than posting
them all out, we delivered some to their houses.
The reaction was positive. It’s not about
me, it’s about Kilmarnock.
I made the decision myself to go to the
pubs. The club and the hard workers at Rugby Park inspire
The stalwarts of the club give me
inspiration and hopefully I can pass that and encourage new
On Losing Heff to Injury & Deano
“We had two extremes in one day. On Tuesday we had
great optimism with the Sky announcement, but that was
coupled with the playing side where we lost all our goals in
one day — Dean to Rangers and Paul to injury.
It’s up to me as a manager to make the changes to
help us get goals because that’s a massive void to fill.”
July 26th on the Season Ahead...
“Obama once said: ‘A change is brought about because
ordinary people do extraordinary things’. We have to use
that as our incentive. We have got to get some positive
energy into Kilmarnock and we must back our supporters.
They have made a massive commitment to sporting integrity by
choosing to send Rangers down. We now see this as a
challenge to fulfil that sporting integrity. We are in a
position where we have to give ultimate commitment to that.
Now we have to be squeaky clean. I still have full
confidence we will get 5,000 to 6,000 season ticket holders
this season. We have made a decision as a league to put
Rangers out, so it’s time for people to step up to the
plate. Across the board the fans have to come out, leave
their armchairs and show their commitment to integrity. They
have decided Rangers have to be out and we have to support
that. We’ve a really good support and I would expect it to
get bigger. It’s the same old adage — if you can find a path
with no obstacles it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. I think
we’ve the determination and will to drive forward. We’ve got
to use our full capacity, commitment and integrity of our
sport — and that’s a word I will be using a lot this season.
A lot of clubs are going to have to step up to the plate and
we are one of them. We’ll have to do it without finance, but
we’re very much dependent on strong support from our fans.
Our first target should be to hit 5,000 season tickets. If
we can achieve that it will bring renewed optimism into
Kilmarnock. I feel we can achieve that, but we all have to
step up to the plate because we all need to save jobs and
make sure we work hard to do that. The difficulties in our
life are intended to make us better, not bitter. If we go
through life hating everything we will stand still and
On Facing Dundee... “I’d heard two or three weeks ago we
might be facing Dundee in our first game. I thought Rangers
being relegated would mean Dunfermline would stay up so I’m
surprised Dundee were chosen but I respect them as a club
and they deserve to be in the SPL now. Dundee are going to
be very difficult for us and they are certainly an SPL club
in my eyes. They have still got the remnants of the squad we
faced last season in two cup-ties. They were two very even
matches and they could have gone either way. We had a couple
of lucky breaks and went through, but they could have put us
out so we know they are strong opponents.”
June 25th on the Impact of No Rangers in the SPL...
will suffer the most for Rangers not being in the league. We
will only have one guaranteed Old Firm gate next season as
we were down to play Rangers twice at home. That could be
£150-200,000 per game. Add in £200k for commercial and
hospitality and we could potentially lose £500k from TV
money — there’s £1m we have to save. We will also miss out
on the Naismith sell-on fee. There was a clause inserted
when we sold him to Rangers. We are different in that we
carry debt. Other clubs of a similar size like St Johnstone
and St Mirren don’t carry debt, so this will have a bigger
impact on us. It won’t all be doom and gloom, but it’s a big
challenge for us if Rangers aren’t in the league. We have to
be very careful in terms of our spending. We have to work on
small budgets and we’ll see how that develops. People are
getting on the high moral ground and perhaps it suits them.
There has to be punishment for Rangers. I’m not in a
position to say what that should be, but football should not
suffer. That is important. Football integrity is vital. We
have integrity as a club. We have shown that and are working
very hard on it. I’m not saying Rangers shouldn’t be
punished. I’m not erring on one side or the other. All I’m
saying is Rangers need to be punished, but we can’t punish
football. If Rangers go out of the league and Dundee or
Dunfermline come in, there will be eight out of 12 teams
from the east or north of the country. We will be isolated
to an extent and because we are in a Rangers stronghold this
will have a massive impact on us".
June 20th on the SPL Fixtures Sending Killie Upto the
Highlands 6 Times...
“I know it
is impossible to keep everyone happy and the people who have
the job of doing the fixtures have a difficult task.
But my first feelings upon hearing the news of the fixtures
for next season is that it’s not fair on us. Financially, it
is going to be a massive outlay for our supporters. There is
a recession going on and to have to make four trips to the
Highlands is certainly an imbalance because it is at least
an eight-hour round trip. Last season we played Aberdeen
away twice and Inverness away twice before the SPL split and
we were also away to Dundee United twice. We are the most
southern club in the SPL so those were the furthest trips we
would have, yet we got all three of them twice before the
split. Now it’s happening again with Dingwall and Inverness
and I just don’t feel that is fair on our supporters. Our
away support is right up there among the best and I am
really proud of that so it’s a bit frustrating that they are
going to have to make so many long journeys again".
On Playing Wrexham in Wales on Wednesday, July
18... “And we are going down to Wrexham next month
and I’m going to use that as a conditioning programme. The
game is on a Wednesday night and we are going to travel from
Kilmarnock on the Wednesday morning. It is to help the
players get used to such lengthy travelling and get the
experience of playing on the same day. It’s not an ideal
situation at all, but it’s all about cutting your cloth
accordingly and it will be good for the players to
experience that journey for what they will face in the
domestic programme next season.”
June 16th on the SPL "NewCo" Vote...
“A secret ballot would be
the best solution as the clubs would not be put in an
awkward position. I don’t think a show of hands is the best
way to go on this. There will be a fall-out either way so a
ballot would benefit the whole of Scottish football. The
decision to be made is huge and will affect so many people
in so many ways. I compare it to a
decision you would make regarding your family. You have to
look after your family and you have to make a decision that
is in their best interests. Clubs have to do the same when
it comes to the vote on a Rangers newco. We’re in real
danger of over-complicating this with too many people trying
to take the moral high ground. In my opinion it is quite
simple. All clubs have to very careful in the way they
are run as I believe the taxman is out to get football. The
news of Rangers was like a death in the football family. But
we must move on and we have to stand up for our industry.
It’s time for people and organisations to stick together and
start working as one for the good of the game. It’s not
about hammering people in order to gain some bragging
rights. We need to reach some kind of agreement suitable to
all the parties involved so we can move forward.”
22nd on Signing a New Two Year Deal...
"I was always wanting to
be here, it was so much in my heart, I've got a
fondness about Kilmarnock and I want to be here so much.
I'm always looking at players but where I'm going to be
looking more and more is at the youth here and how we can
grow our own players, That's a big part of the future of
this club. There's a recession on and we have to keep
cutting, like many other clubs. We know we can't compete in
the transfer market, so young players will get opportunities
here. We'll just see how they handle that. We want
them to learn their trade here and in return we will get
compensation, like we did with Craig Bryson and Conor
Sammon. I've put in a principle of play when I came to the
club with Mixu and it's cottoned on. I feel as if we have
made a contribution to how the game has progressed in the
last two years. Players make mistakes but the management
encourages them to remain brave and keep the ball and play
with imagination I'm not in the least surprised that
we won the League Cup."
Assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl has also agreed a two-year
On Keep Son Dean at the Club.. "Dean had a fantastic
season with 15 goals from midfield and his assists have been
phenomenal, He's one I'd really like to try and keep but
just let's wait and see with that. He's one of my sons at
the club, that's how I like to look at them all - as part of
Manager's Comments for
Killie Manager History 1957-Present