Lee McCulloch

Vital Statistics

Nickname: Jig

Position: Utility Player/Assistant Manager

Date of Birth: May 14th 1978

Birth Place: Bellshill, Scotland

Height: 1.85m

Previous Clubs: Rangers Youth, Cumbernauld Utd, Motherwell Youth, Motherwell, Wigan Athletic, Rangers

Killie Contract: July 13th 2015 (3 Year Deal) - Transitioned to full assistant manager in 2016

International: 1 Appearance for Scotland B. 18 Caps for Scotland (1 Goal).

 

Quotes

July 13th 2015: "I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my career. Killie are a great provincial club and are committed to developing their youth players and that’s something I believe I can help with. I think it’s fair to say the club hasn’t reached its potential in the last few seasons but we have big aspirations for the future and I want to help the club get back to where it once was, for me that starts with a top six spot.”

"It felt strange [in Kilmarnock colours] on Saturday. That was my first game but today I’m getting used to it. It’s great being in and about the stadium. The boys are brilliant and the management team is pretty good as well. I’m delighted to be here. We were speaking over the summer. It was probably just about the end of last season he made contact with me and asked if I would be interested and I was delighted to eventually come here. I had a few other offers of management, of playing and coaching and different things. This one really stuck out for me. I haven’t worked with Gary before but we’ve had a good kick at each other before on the pitch. We’re similar types of people, cut from the same cloth, as they say. I’m really looking forward to working with him. I think it was time for me [to start coaching]. I’ve done all my badges relatively early so that’s something I see myself going into. It’s a perfect opportunity for me. I’m assistant manager/coach and I’m still registered as a player but I don’t see myself playing as much because it’s a provincial club and the youths need to come through to create a pathway and establish themselves in the first team. I don’t think you want me standing in their way. The demands aren’t what they were at my old clubs and I think you can throw youths in and help them get the experience that I’ve gained over the years. Staying as a player is something that Gary asked me to do, to be honest with you, and I was willing to do it but I don’t think I’ll play much. If there’s injury or suspension then I’ll need to play but other than that I’ll be in the dugout."

July 14th 2015: "I signed my three-year deal on Monday, although I was at the Berwick game on Saturday. Myself and the gaffer Gary Locke played against each other a few times and we have three or four mutual friends, so we have a good relationship. I’m looking forward to working with him because we’re both cut from the same cloth. Peter Leven’s in there as well, and he has a good football background. I had five or six options, including a couple of manager’s jobs I could have taken. I could also have kept going solely as a player but this was the one that stood out for me. It’s a great provincial club and it’s all about providing a pathway for the youths into the first team. My only thought right now is Kilmarnock and getting the team up the table as they have been bottom six for too long. It’s all about challenging in the top six, if we can do that this season we will have made a difference. I had a chat with them [Warburton & Weir] and what they’re going to do seems exciting. However, I just felt a fresh start would be best for me. And with Killie in the position they’re in, having not fulfilled their potential for a bit, this offer was attractive. The club hasn’t been punching its weight over the past few years but with some new faces and a new management team we can get it back where it belongs. I won’t be playing as much. I’ll be there in an emergency in case there are any injuries or bans. It will be up to the manager if I play but I don’t see it happening often. It wouldn’t be fair of me to hold a youth back, given the standards they’ve had in that department over the past 20 years. I’ll expect more respect from Kris Boyd now – he’s already had a slap!”

July 16th 2015: "I really don’t expect to do much, if any, playing. I think the club’s all about promoting the youth and getting them through into the first team and that’s what we’ll be looking to do. So I don’t see myself playing a number of games, I’m just here to use the experience from my career in England and Scotland to help these young boys come through and to move on to bigger and better things as well. I think that is the midset in the sense that the club is winning and the player is winning. The squad is of a really good standard. There are some good players here, some very good young players too. Some of the signings that have come in have done well. I’ve not been in too long, I enjoyed Saturday at Berwick, that’s the first time I’ve been in the dug–out as an assistant coach so that was a great experience for me. It’s good to be next to Peter Leven as well, someone with a good football background. So I’m just really looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully we can achieve better than what we’ve done the past six or seven years. I think, arguably, Killie haven’t really been punching their weight. For Kilmarnock to get back to where they belong is as a top-six club. That’s not going to happen overnight and it will take a lot of hard work and dedication but as a management team we can certainly promise fans we’ll give them that. As long as the signings gel quickly and we get off to a good start then you never where we can end up.”

August 11th 2015: "I’m not in the slightest bit worried about Boyd. He knows where the goals are. There were a lot of things that were sidetracking us last season and we’re looking to take those negatives away and for this season just to get him scoring. Boyd just needs a goal and he’ll be up and running. Everyone knows that so it’s just about getting him the service. If you look at the last two games he didn’t have many attempts at goal so I feel a bit sorry for him. We’re not getting people close enough to him. But if you create chances Kris Boyd is always going to score. A point would obviously be our first point so that means it would be a good point. Things have changed from at my last club where if I'd said a point would be really good, I'd probably never have been seen again. Anything, a positive result, a point, three points would be brilliant for us. It's more about getting the young boys on the pitch, in front of the television (cameras), it's a great experience for them, playing against the calibre of player Celtic have got just now. You're learning every day. Win, lose or draw you're going to learn. I'm getting a response from the players, there's a mutual respect there. I'm looking forward to helping the players, especially the younger players."

September 23rd 2015: "We have a goalie at Derby at the moment [Devlin Mackay] who we can't bring back because of the cross-border rule,  It is not ideal preparation but we will get on with it, we won't make excuses. It is the chance to get into the quarter-finals of the Cup and keep progressing. The last couple of results [two league wins] have been all right so we want to keep momentum going. He (Millar) could be involved. We have spoken about him so we will see what happens. He is fine. He is mentally strong and excited. I just think you have to be really careful. If you put him in it could make his career, it could be brilliant. But it could go the other way and destroy his mentality, if something goes wrong."

February 16th 2016: [After losing 1-2 to Rangers in Scottish Cup 5th Round Replay] "In the first hour of the game we were positive with the way we created chances. Rory McKenzie was brilliant, Tope was positive for the first hour and Kiltie was great as well. You’re depending on young boys. They can be inconsistent but the lads have been fabulous to work with, especially the last couple of weeks. The attitude is there, the desire is there and maybe just a lapse in concentration has cost us which is criminal in football. But that’s what happened in the first minute and the last minute. I’ve learned loads about myself. I’ve learned loads about the players. It’s something that I’ve really, really enjoyed. It’s good to have a bit of experience coming in with Lee Clark. He’ll have his own stamp to put on the way things work here and I’m going to support that in any way I can. [on Dundee next] We’ll take the last three performances which probably have been our best of the season and hopefully implement that into the game on Saturday. Lee’s got his own ideas, he didn’t get involved too much against Rangers but he did speak to the players. We will wait and see what changes Lee is going to bring as I don’t want to speak on behalf of him. But we have spoken about a couple of things and he will have his own ideas. I’m definitely excited for the rest of the season, I always see the positives."

 

14: Mark OHara | 16: Tope Obadeyi


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