Manager's Comments

July 13th on the Buddies(League Cup) Post-Match:  "We are still a long way away from the start of the Scottish Premiership, which is our main target to be physically ready for, We lost the penalty shoot-out and made the group a little bit more difficult. We need to make sure we win the next three games to get ourselves 10 points which should be enough to take us through to the next round. That's the immediate objective. For the ones who played 90 minutes it was a great workout. We'll give them a couple of days off now, which they deserve because they haven't had any time off in the last three weeks so that's a long shift. I thought we finished the game strongly so that's pleasing to see. We were fortunate there were no big injuries and I look forward to another hard week's training next week.  We go to Dumbarton knowing we need to make sure we win the next three games."  Match Recap

July 5th on Signing a New Improved Contract:  "The club approached me at the end of last season and I have a good relationship with the people above me. I think the relationship is strong.  I was very grateful and pleased that they came to me and offered me a new, improved contract. It tells you that you've done a good job and it shows they have a little bit of faith in you.  It is easy to sign the contract and easy to take the rewards but the hard bit is that I need to repay that faith by doing more good work for the club and hopefully we can do that this season. I'm enjoying the job and I enjoy going to my work day in, day out and when you get that job satisfaction it is great."

July 5th on the BetFred Lge Cup Setup: “It’s really disruptive for a manager going into competitive games so quickly. I find it a really strange set-up. Obviously it’s organised by someone who doesn’t know that much about football because you should be able to structure your pre-season so you can gradually introduce your players to matches. You can use them for 45 minutes or 60 minutes, you can utilise your whole squad. Obviously you can’t do that in competitive matches because you can only make three changes. It also seems a bit strange the two Premiership teams have to play the first game. We’ll probably be a little bit undercooked for the game and St Mirren will be similar. But that’s not to say we won’t be trying to win it because we will.”

July 4th on the Season Ahead: “It’s good that supporters, the board and all those people can dream about it. As manager it’s important that I keep a sense of reality and perspective in our group,” Clarke said of some of the headlines during the summer break.  We’ll be focused on what we know we can do and what we’re trying to do.  For supporters to dream and enjoy is why you have good moments in football. You suffer in the bad moments so you have to enjoy your good moments. From last season to the start of this season, the Kilmarnock fans have been able to dream and think a bit about what their team might and might not do. But for us we have to go out and do it again next season but because you were good last season doesn’t mean you’re going to be good this season. With humility and respect for everybody we’ll go out and try and be as good as we can be. There are no targets, I didn’t set any last year. My first target was to get away from the relegation zone and make sure we were safe and we did that, comfortably. We managed to push on and had a decent finish. My only target will be to stay competitive, to pick up enough points and be far enough from the bottom of the table that we can look above us. Until you start playing and picking up points there are no targets. It could be that this season you finish seventh or eighth and it could be just as good a season as last season because you don’t know how the league will pan out. It’s always wrong to set unrealistic targets so it’s better you don’t set any targets. The target is to be competitive in every match we play and to pick up as many points as we can. Scottish football is on an upward curve. I think it’s been on the up for a little while now. It’s good to see that people are attracted to the game again. There are a lot of good managers in Scotland. It’s about your team and players, so hopefully we can attract one or two better players to improve our squad. : “I would like to think that the way we finished last season, the feelgood factor would still be around the club and we could get some decent gates at the start of the season. Hopefully we’ll see a big crowd against St Johnstone and we’re responsible for it. If we play well and get results thern the supporters will come. They showed us that last season and it’s up to us to keep them coming and get them onside.”

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