YOUSSOUF MULUMBU realised it was smiles better when he returned to Kilmarnock on loan from Celtic during the January transfer window.
The 32-year-old DR Congo international midfielder agreed to return to the Ayrshire outfit on deadline day, despite interest from Frank Lampard’s promotion-chasing Derby County.
Mulumbu, who made his first appearance second time around as a substitute in the 2-2 midweek draw against Dundee at Dens Park admitted: “The first thing I noticed was that everybody was smiling because they were happy to see me.
“I’ve known Steve Clarke for a long time and, even when I was at Celtic, I was in contact with him.
“It’s been a fantastic effort from the lads and I was watching the table and the team was first, second and we just need to keep going.
“We just need to work hard and do our work on the pitch. It’s easy to say, but it is very hard to do. As we saw against Dundee, every team will wait for us and ready to beat us, so we need to keep going.”
SEE YOU SOON…Youssouf Mulumbu takes on ex-Killie team-mate Chris Burke during his debut for Celtic. Pic: Geo.
Mulumbu left Rugby Park in the summer at the end of his contract and agreed a two-year deal with Brendan Rodgers, who had been impressed by the combative performer in the previous campaign, at the Scottish champions.
Ironically, he made his Hoops debut against Killie in September when former Parkhead prospect Stuart Findlay headed a last-gasp winner in a 2-1 comeback triumph after they had trailed to a first-half Leigh Griffiths goal.
Mulumbu revealed it was a day of mixed emotions. He added: “You know, when I signed for Celtic and I played against Kilmarnock it was a bit weird for me because I was happy to be back in my stadium, but, at the same time, I had some challenges and the fans didn’t really like it.
“But it is all clear and I’m a Kilmarnock player for now and I’m going to try and do my best for the fans and the team.”