KILMARNOCK’s interim manager Paul McDonald has said that new gaffer, Steve Clarke, inspired the side onto the victory at Firhill against Partick Thistle today.

Killie announced before kick-off that Clarke, 54, would become the new manager, filling the vacancy left when Lee McCulloch resigned. However, McDonald has said that the news of Clarke’s hiring gave the players a boost ahead of the game, and words from the new boss enhanced that further.

“It was a thrill to get the three points. As a team we’re over the moon.

“Credit to the players for getting the win today. I just don’t think previously results had gone their way but today we got the goal and then carried on the pressure into the second half.

“The new manager gave the players a pep talk before the game at our pre-match meal and it worked wonders.”

Clarke, who is from Saltcoats, watched from the stands as goals from Kris Boyd and Frizzell sealed the points for his new side. Clarke spent his playing years at St Mirren then Chelsea plying his trade as a right-back. McDonald was complimentary of the club’s ambition in hiring the ex-West Brom manager.

“Steve Clarke is a massive name in the game, and it shows how ambitious our club is to appoint somebody of his stature. It’s credit to our directors and we’re thrilled.

“He met the players at the pre-match meal at the hotel in the morning. He said, ‘Good luck and the real work starts today at three o’clock’.

“Now I’m happy to go back in the shadows again.”

Clarke will take training on Monday as the Killie team look above to their upcoming clashes away to Rangers (25th) and Celtic (28th).


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