Kil­marnock sharpen up in at­tack in an ef­fort to

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SPFL PREMIERSHIP - CAL­LUM BAIRD and ALASDAIR FRASER

MICHAEL GAR­DYNE was first asked about the bizarre, baf­fling forgery al­le­ga­tions aimed at his club over the past cou­ple of days. He sighed, be­fore grin­ning and shak­ing his head.

He has been in this game long enough to know not to bite. “We don’t have a clue what is go­ing on,” the Kil­marnock mid­fielder said, with an ex­pres­sion that made it clear that was all he was go­ing to say. “We can’t con­trol that. We’re just con­cen­trat­ing on the game on Satur­day.”

And well they might. A loss to Partick This­tle at home last weekend has ban­ished any no­tion of Al­lan John­ston’s side get­ting a cou­ple of quick wins to avoid the rel­e­ga­tion play-off then pop­ping open a cold one. A vic­tory would have opened up a six-point gap on their Firhill ri­vals, in­stead it is just a thin sliver of goal dif­fer­ence which sep­a­rates the teams.

That re­sult led to Kil­marnock work­ing on their shoot­ing in train­ing this week, with a three-game ‘goal drought’ from Kris Boyd con­tribut­ing to their strug­gles. That doesn’t worry many at Rugby Park. All it means, prob­a­bly, is that he will score to­day.

Gar­dyne raised an eye­brow when asked it the play-offs had made the league more ex­cit­ing – “For the fans maybe” – but agreed that two vic­to­ries in their last four games ought to be enough to se­cure their place in the SPFL Pre­mier­ship next sea­son.

“Aye, prob­a­bly two wins would be enough,” he said. “Ob­vi­ously, it’s the old cliche, one game at a time, Satur­day is mas­sive, we can’t think too much be­yond that. We’ll go into the game on Satur­day with con­fi­dence.”

Most dis­ap­point­ing last week was the fact Kil­marnock had led – briefly – in that match be­fore go­ing on to fin­ish with­out even a point. It is the hope that hurts you. “It is frus­trat­ing when you go ahead and then you’re pegged back and you end up los­ing,” Gar­dyne said.

“Things go for you, things go against you. But we just need to

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