Managers Comments - July 2016

July 30th on the Albion Rovers Post-Match: "Let’s not be little babies about it. We have to be ready. They’ve got to come out and show more than they have. We need to be courageous and I’ve got to pick a team and make substitutions that will help us make a positive start to the league. I’m very disappointed. Forget losing the shoot-out, penalties are a lottery. But we should have been better over 90 minutes. We’re well aware of that and it’s been indicative of pre-season. Only in the last 10 minutes did we show a bit of urgency and I don’t know why that is. I’m not worried but I’m not sweeping this under the carpet either.” Match Report

July 29th on killing the "Lee to Quit" rumours: "There's no question about my loyalty. I've no idea where these stories come from, I've not seen the story and I always say actions speak louder than words. I'm still here and I'm honoured to be the manager here. I've had fantastic backing from the board of directors and the supporters

"I've got a fantastic group of players, who are great characters, great lads. So the work goes on. I've really grown to love the place, I enjoy coming in every day. I'm desperate to be successful for the people of Kilmarnock."

"Hopefully we can get the win which should see us through as one of the best runners-up, or if there's a shock in the Morton-Berwick game, we can go through as group winners, Confidence isn't an issue. If I include the friendly games we've played, we've won five out of six. If we start the season like that, we'll be more than happy. I certainly think this group of players will get us to an improved level on last season. It's a big ask to get into the top half, but with a little luck and a good start, I think we can achieve that." BBC, July 30th 2016

July 26th on the Berwick Post-Match: “Coulibaly is going to be an exciting player for the fans. He is a really special talent. He can score every type of goal and for a little guy he has a great leap. He has two great feet – scored one with his left, one with his right, and is a brilliant kid to work with.  They are all a great bunch and superb to work with. I just need to find a way to get better performances out of them as they gel and we can eradicate the issues slowly but surely.” 

Indeed, the Rugby Park gaffer pulled no punches in his assessment of the overall display, admitting his charges must improve ahead of the upcoming Ladbrokes Premiership campaign. I congratulate the players for the spirit but the performance was really below-par. We got out of jail and must improve.” Match Report

July 24th on the Morton Post-Match: "We had opportunities to take a quick throw or a quick corner and we were just sauntering over to the ball.  We didn't take enough risks. When the ball went into the box there was no one else around it if the strikers didn't get on it.

It's very disappointing. These new lads need to learn very quickly. It's not an attitude problem, It's too easy to say it's about attitude or that they weren't trying. That's an easy cop out. The old adage from somebody having a pint after the game is that the players didn't try, that the attitude was bad because they lost. That's not the case. What I'm talking about is the players having the game management to win games at the highest level." - Match Report

July 21st 2016: "Choosing Stevie Smith as the new captain was a simple choice. Steven is an excellent footballer and an influential player at the club.

He is a leader both on the pitch and off it and is a good example to the rest of the players so it was quite a simple choice to be honest. Along with Miles as vice–captain, they are both top pros and are very vocal in the changing room.”

Of course it’s great to have competition for places. We have 21 players at the moment and it keeps everyone on their toes. I think we’re happy with what we’ve got squad-wise. Obviously you’re always speaking to the board to see what is available.

“If something came up that we think can help us then we’ll ask the question. Kris Boyd, Mark Waddington and Jonny Burn all missed out on Saturday but they’ll play a part on Saturday against Morton. I can only pick 18 players so some will have to miss out and another three won’t feature this weekend. I saw Jim McIntyre’s comments and I completely agree that there should be more subs.

Two weeks into pre-season, it’s difficult to ask players all the players to go through a full 90 minutes.” - Kilmarnock Standard, David Wren, 21st July 2016

July 16th 2016 on the Clyde Post-Match: “I am pretty disappointed with our performance, but we’ve won the game. This early in pre-season we are usually playing friendlies, but this is the League Cup and with us being the Premier League team the pressure is on. 

We’re happy we’ve won, and there were some good individual performances, but there’s lots to work on. Usually in pre-season you have got opportunities to change systems and make lots of changes during games, but we want to do well in the cups this season.'  -  Match Report - The Sun, George Mair, 16th July 2016

July 13th 2016: “Spain was very, very good. It was an important first step for us and it was a great chance to get the players onside with what we’re trying to do.  It was a good team-building and bonding exercise, and they put in the work that was expected of them. It was a hard shift, but there were no complaints, the boys were completely professional.”

The squad were expected to complete full training sessions at 7am, 11am and 3pm each day, however the mid-afternoon session was quickly moved to 6pm because of the heat. Even during the 7am sessions, the camaraderie was fantastic and the players gelled, They got to know each other quickly and formed a good group.”

Clark took over at the club mid-February and was quickly forced to troubleshoot as the team languished in the bottom half of the table.

We haven’t been able to do everything that we want to do just yet, and we maybe haven’t gotten everyone that we want in this window, but I’m not looking at just this window. We need to grow and develop and see where we are later in the season.

My style is winning football games. As a team you have to be prepared to do what it takes to win games. 

On the Clyde Match ... “These games are important to us and we’re going in there to win, We won’t be one of those teams that says it’s all about the league, because it’s not. We want cup runs in both tournaments, in the league cup and the Scottish Cup. We want results and the league isn’t all that matters.  We would have liked more friendlies ahead of our first competitive match. It would have been nice to get our fitness up, practice a few more things, and gel that little bit more.” - Kilmarnock Standard, Fraser N. Wilson, 14th July 2016

June 30th 2016: “These lads had other possibilities down south but part of my selling point was Rangers coming back in. They could have stayed down south. Some of the lads who have come on loan would have had possibilities to go into the Championship and League One there.

Some of the ones out of contract had clubs there too. But they’ve looked at it. From my experience and what I’m hearing when I speak to people down south, they’re saying this league is getting its wow factor back a bit. To complete it you get Hibs back but if they were back it would have been at our expense – so thankfully we have to wait another season to get them back!

You see the recruitment process at Rangers and the type of player they’re bringing in. Brendan Rodgers going in, Moussa Dembele who I know quite well from Fulham. It shows the intent of those two clubs again and it’s going to be an exciting season again. The full house, the signings they’ve made, Celtic showing their intent by bringing Brendan in.

They’ll be back to a full house too so that was a fantastic selling point for me. There’s possibilities for them as individuals to go and play at packed houses at Parkhead and Ibrox, Pittodrie, Tynecastle. But it was also about what we’re trying to build here. It’s a new beginning really. Hopefully if we can give our fans a product we can get more people through our gate and they can play in front of bigger crowds here.

I’m really pleased with the business. I’m really pleased at how quickly it got done. It’s a pat on the back to all the players they wanted to do it so quickly too. There are big changes in terms of the players coming in, big numbers going out. We felt it was necessary after what’s happened here in recent years. We certainly don’t want to be doing that every window or every summer. We believe these players can go onto good things for the club and their own long term future. It’s not really what you’d like to be doing but I felt it was necessary. I like young hungry players. I do know a lot of them. Mark Waddington was a young player at Blackpool and I gave him his debut in a cup tie at Villa where he ended up being man of the match.

He was outstanding and we then lost him to Stoke. Three or four of the lads I knew were getting released by their parent clubs. So last season when I came through the door I brought them in for two or three weeks to have a look at them.

We felt they would improve us. The other lads I didn’t have that closeness to, I’ve watched their careers and kept an eye on them. The majority have had some kind of experience of first team football, whether it be loans or with their parent clubs. We feel like we have got a good blend.”

"I have to balance the books. We still have four (Tope Obadeyi, Conrad Balatoni, Kallum Higginbotham and Dale Carrick) players on the transfer list. We are just waiting. Their agents I imagine are working very hard to get some clubs interested in them and see if we can strike a deal financially.

I think (Obadeyi) is in talks with (Dundee United) but there's nothing finalised at this moment. Craig Slater rejected a new contract at Rugby Park and Clark has insisted there has been no more contact despite the fact that the midfielder is yet to find a club.

"Craig (Slater) decided to leave the club so good luck to him,  I think he's trying to pursue some avenues down South. We wish him the very best. We've not gone anywhere near that because Craig indicated he wanted a new challenge." - Daily Record, Gavin Berry, 1st July 2016

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

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