Managers Comments Part II

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 ....   

April 19th 2014... Shiels has had to divorce himself emotionally from Kilmarnock, and he found it hard."I got a bad deck of cards at Kilmarnock - there is no doubt about it," he says of his removal by Michael Johnston. "I was hard done by. But you get over it and you move on. You have to" 

June 21st on Killie Escaping a Fine On His Exploits... "The 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 Killie....“When 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."

 Shiels Optimistic on Boomer STAYING!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 disappointing.  Of 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 Report

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.”

 May 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."

 Rory Scores Wonder Solo GoalMay 11th on the Dee Post-Match..."The only difficulty I have is that Chris Johnston is another James Dayton, and he’s  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 Believe me. 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."  Match Report

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 credit." 
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".


Match Commander ... Informs "Match Postponed"!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."   Match Report 

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 injury. 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 are. 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 you have. 
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.” 

 April 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." Match Report

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 vote. 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 County). 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."

April 20th 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 (Momo) 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 result.  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." Match Report

 April 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 minute. 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."  Match Report

April 5th on the Dee Pre-Match... "I hoping, 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 to savour. 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 kill me. 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 with them. That core of grandfathers, fathers and sons that goes to the football has started to diminish and it’s a cause for concern. We’re on television less than  any other 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 to Dundee.”

 Boydie On Target For Killie!!Apr 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." Match Report

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 Scotland and England 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.” 

 Fow Nets Games Only Goal!Mar 30th on the Ross Co Post-Match... "People 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 position." Match Report

Mar 29th on the Ross Co Pre-Match..."It might be a bit early [for Boyd to start] - maybe the St Mirren game.  He's been 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."  

 Mar 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 delivered. 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."   Match Report

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."

 Mar 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 Report  

 Feb 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 Report  

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 right way. 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. Like ourselves, 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".
On 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.”
 

 Feb 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 upset our  rhythm when we lost [Borja] Perez and after that I thought our defence became very indecisive. 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 me."
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." Match Report  
 

 Feb 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 encouraging." Match Report 

Feb 13th 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 bottle.  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."  Match Report 
 Feb 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 go, 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" Match Report  

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.

 Feb 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." Match Report 

 Feb 1st on the Caley Cup Pre-Match... "There's 16 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 Visit... “You need to be a special person to wear the Kilmarnock jersey and you are one. 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...  "With 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 well, 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."   Match Report 

Jan 29th on Neil Lennon... "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 him. 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 in Scotland, 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 little more. 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,"

 Jan 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.” Match Report 

Dec 18th-Jan 25th (Updated) ... Killie manager Kenny Shiels  feud with the footballing authorities continues - HERE

 Manu Opens the Scoring!Jan 19th on the Arabs Post-Match... "In the last three months there was so much uncertainty around the club (Dundee Utd) and you 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." Match Report 


Jan 17th on Squad Planning... 
"I'm hopeful we can reduce the squad more because it sits with my long term strategy,  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, ..."They 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.  But I need to look these kids in the face and says this is the time.  I've got 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 through.  We've got to make sure these lads get a chance." 
 

Jan 16th on Losing Kelly & Then Nelson... "Kilmarnock 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 that. 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 taken off. 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 develop. Rabiu could feature immediately, it depends on how he does. 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.” 
On His 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." 


 Kelly On Target From the Spot!Jan 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."  Match Report 

Jan 1st on the Buddies Pre-Match... “What would be my wish for 2013? “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 officials now. 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 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.”
On Signing Rabiu 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 career development 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.”

 


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