Killie FC

Managers Comments - Feb-March 2017

Mar 29th on the Caley Pre-Match: "We need to get a result. So do Inverness. There's talk of Inverness being near the bottom and fighting for their lives but Kilmarnock are fighting for their lives as well. Make no mistake about that. We speak about it every day. Yes, they say they are fighting for their lives but we are fighting for our kids, for ourselves, the fans, the board, for everybody. We have our meetings every day, we talk openly and talk about the importance of the games. Getting into the top six is a huge incentive for everybody at the club but I think the most important thing is safety. Any team outwith the top five will probably say they will take safety right now. But even if we win on Saturday I still don't see us as safe, especially with the next two games coming up.So it is an important game, an important week of the season, but one where we will need to keep our composure and self-belief."

Mar 18th on the Jags Post-Match: “I thought in the first 40 minutes we were really good, we created chances and were the better team. In the second half up until 75 minutes, Partick were brilliant.  We lost a terrible goal. I don’t know how Chris Erskine can take a touch in our box before putting it in the corner – that’s not good enough. I’m delighted with the character of the boys in terms of getting themselves back into the game. Partick probably feel like we were a bit lucky but with the amount of hard work we put in, I believe in this game you make your own luck. They will think it’s two points dropped but if you had offered me four points out of six before the Ross County game we would have taken that.”
On Sammon Being Called Up By Republic of Ireland: “There’s no reason if he keeps playing and scoring goals he should be going away on international duty. He has everything, he scores goals, he’s quick, he’s powerful and he’s keen to keep improving so I’m delighted for him.”    - Match Report -

Mar 16th 2017 on Kris Boyd: "I have had the privilege to play next to him,  His goal record is phenomenal. He is a winner, he is great about the dressing room with the young players and the scary thing is there are still more goals in him. I wouldn't rule him out breaking more records. He is a phenomenon who doesn't get anywhere near as much credit as he should get. He has had stick from all opposition fans in Scotland and he just manages to keep popping up with goals.  Yes, he is my friend and he has been my friend for a long time but I am just giving you facts. Hopefully we can keep him fit for the run-in."

On the Jags Pre-Match: "We had a good result last week against Ross County and I got text from a couple of the board members saying 'great result keep it going' and I am absolutely delighted with that. As long as the club and the team are stable, meaning the league position, I don't see anybody being in too much of a hurry. I think that's the logical thing to do. I am enjoying it just now so there is no reason to start asking for a longer-term. I think it would be a little bit selfish of me to say give me it to the end of the season. I don't think anybody can do that in my position. It's about keep ticking over and trying to win games and we will see what happens."

Mar 11th on the Staggies Post-Match:
"It's a fantastic result for us. We had a game-plan, stuck to the game-plan and I felt it worked today. We've had a lot of chances in the previous two or three games and just been a little unlucky. Today we knew that chances would be few and far between.  We got the goal and in Kilmarnock fashion as soon as we score we retreat. I thought we defended set plays really well and defended well. We're sitting okay just now but nobody is getting carried away. We need to get back to work, keep working on the basics." - Match Report -

Mar 4th on the Well Post Match: "It happens, If there was a penalty in the next five minutes, you want Kris Boyd taking it. Unbelievable achievement to get the 200 goals. The big man was outstanding and I said that to him after the game. It was an outstanding performance but on top of that he got his goal as well. The biggest disappointment is the set-plays, people switching off, not doing their jobs. Individual errors have cost us two goals." McCulloch, said he felt they dominated after the first 15 minutes of each half and praised Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson for his display.  - Match Report -

Mar 3rd on the Well Pre-Match: "The message has been 'no complacency'. Motherwell have lost their manager this week so they're going to come out the traps It's going to be a really hard game for us so it's important we start well and we have spoken about that every day this week. The work ethic was there last week, the desire, and the way we pressed them, so we'll be looking to do that again tomorrow."

Feb 25th on the Saints Post-Match: "I don't know what will happen, (on the permanent managers position) I was just thinking about today. I don't know if it's getting the management bug but I have loved it.  It's an honest group of players and I've enjoyed working with them. There's been long days but I'm really enjoying it.  It doesn't harm the chances when the boys play like that, but I don't really see it as having chances, I just want to see the boys playing well.
“I'm delighted. The way the team bounced back from a disappointment last week that I don't think we deserved. The focus in training all week was to let the players remember how they felt last week, and to bring that into today, and I thought we did that. We made some chances, great technique from Rory McKenzie for the first goal, and coming in from wide areas to score is what Connor Sammon does best.”  - Match Report -

Feb 19th 2017 on the Dons Post-Match: "Up to the 83rd minute, I'm proud as I can be of the boys. We had a game plan to frustrate Aberdeen, but it was just a crazy first goal [to give away].  A lack of concentration gives them that step to come back in and they've shown the character of winners to go and nick another dubious goal with bad defending from ourselves. We're disappointed but we need to take that form into next week. There were loads of positives - the finish for the goal, the way we passed the ball at times, the togetherness we showed." - Match Report -

************** Lee McCulloch Succeeded Lee Clark on Feb 14th 2017 on an Interim Basis ***********

Feb 15th on his Surprise Departure For Bury:
"I have had a wonderful year as Kilmarnock manager, The club and fans have treated myself and my family fantastically - we are in a good position with a strong and loyal squad and staff.  The directors have given me their full support in rebuilding the squad and the fans will always have a special place in my heart, but I still have huge ambition to one day manage at the highest level in England, which is obviously the Premier League. I feel that the fresh challenge of managing a club in England's League One could provide me with the platform to build towards this goal."

“The best thing the board could do now is to give Lee McCulloch my job.  Don’t shilly shally or make him the caretaker manager or the interim manager. Just give him the job. He’s 100 per cent the best man. I couldn’t have asked for a better assistant and Peter Leven was a fantastic first-team coach.  I would unreservedly recommend letting the pair of them carry on.”

Feb 11th 2017 on the Dundee Post-Match: "It was frustrating, very similar to the game last week. I thought we were the dominant team, they had a spell for 10 minutes before half time."We are disappointed that we haven't taken three points once again but our level of performance is really high at the moment. We're playing some really good football. Players are playing with a lot of confidence, they are young and what they need to do is try to change these draws into wins. We could probably have done with eight more point from our performances but it's about winning as well, it's not just about playing good football. Unfortunately it hasn't happened but it gives me a lot of belief and encouragement that we can kick on for the rest of the season. We want the players to keep on doing what they are doing. Can we be more ruthless in the final third, I think if there's a slight criticism we go in the right positions without picking out the right type of ball. They are really young, we've got some terrific experienced players in their helping them. That's us four unbeaten in the league now so it means we go into a really tough game next Sunday (against Aberdeen) with lots of confidence.It's a positive thing (being in the top six), it's good for the players but it's so tight and that can flip on its head by the time we play next. There's not much to call between the teams so you just have to be consistent in the level of performance and hope that the results follow."  - Match Report -

Feb 4th 2017 on the Accies Post-Match: "The first half an hour was so one-sided. We were playing really well. In all the time I've been in football, I've never been involved in a game like that where you're so dominant, you're playing so well because you're playing so simple. We stopped doing the good things and it feels like a defeat. We had a really good opportunity. We looked a real, real good team in that first half-hour and we've given Hamilton a sniff and they took it.  You wouldn't say we played poorly in the last 60 minutes. We were just so impressive in the first-half. Then, we just come off it a little bit.Young players, they get a little bit excited and get a bit cocky that things have been going so well and they stop doing simple things that have got them playing so impressively in the first half-an-hour."  - Match Report

Feb 3rd on the Accies Pre-Match: “We now have a huge game on Saturday because Hamilton are a team in and around us. We have to be dominant in those games. You have to take these opportunities. When we’ve come off the back of good results in the past we’ve failed miserably in the next game. If we do our job right over the second half of the season, we’ve got a chance of making the top six — as have four or five other clubs, of course.”
“I’d have loved to have been a manager of Kilmarnock at any final at Hampden Park.“I wanted to do well in the cups and was really disappointed we went out both of them. But, for me, the key thing in the progression of this club was how we do in the league and where we finish. The second half of the season is huge and in terms of the league campaign we have started positively. 
“We haven’t seen the full impact of Callum Roberts — when he gets in his full rhythm, it will be there for everyone to see. Sean Longstaff is a midfielder with an eye for a goal and we saw that when he was calm and assured in his finish to win the game.  Freddie is a goalkeeper who has attracted huge bids, I know for a fact Newcastle have turned down multi-million pound offers for him — and that showed in his performance. Kristoff has come in from Celtic and looked like a Rolls-Royce — so we’re pleased with how things are going.”

Feb 1st 2017 on Making Loan Signings: "It's not ideal but I have to get the best players I possibly can within those constraints, We couldn't have touched four of their salaries that they're earning elsewhere. So it's us having the relationships and the contacts with those clubs to get the deals when they do become affordable to us. I have a budget to work to, to spread around to try to get us a competitive squad and that's the way it has to be done, In an ideal world I'd like every member of my first-team squad to be permanent signings so we're not having another summer like we had last year and when the loan lads go back, I'm not having to replace them. It was always my aim to get more competition in the striking areas, We feel we've brought two very good signings in. We've brought in an experienced player [in Sammon]. He's experienced generally but he also has experience of Scottish football. You're looking at us then having four central defenders - three experienced ones in [Scott] Boyd, Osborne and Addison and one who's come in and hit the ground running and looks a very special talent in Kristoffer Ajer, We've got four strikers, the young Newcastle lads have come in so we've got real competition in the goalkeeping area. Sean Longstaff has shown everybody what he can be - a very athletic midfield player who can get goals and we still feel there's a lot more to come from Callum Roberts. So we're excited by it all."

Lee Clark's Comment's From : June-July - August - September - October - November - December - January -

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