Clin­gan: we de­serve some credit

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SPFL PREMIERSHIP - MARTIN MCMIL­LAN

SAMMY CLIN­GAN says the on­go­ing dis­agree­ment over bonuses at Kil­marnock has un­fairly over­shad­owed the club’s fly­ing start to the sea­son.

The mid­fielder and his team-mates ar­rive at Celtic Park to­mor­row three points above their hosts in the Scot­tish Premier­ship but the main talk­ing point in re­cent weeks has been the pay dis­pute. The Kil­marnock cap­tain Manuel Pas­cali was forced to deny re­ports the play­ers could go on strike for the Celtic fix­ture.

Clin­gan would rather talk re­gard­ing their dis­plea­sure over the of­fer made to them by Michael John­ston, the Kil­marnock chair­man, did not dom­i­nate the build-up to matches.

The North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional, whose team sit fourth in the ta­ble, said: “As play­ers, yes, we do want to get the thing sorted once and for all and we want it out of the press now be­cause I think it has over­shad­owed our per­for­mances and our re­sults on the pitch.

“We haven’t re­ally been get­ting that much praise for what we’ve been do­ing. It’s just been all the stuff off the field. As play­ers we just have to con­cen­trate on our foot­ball and, hope­fully, things be­hind closed doors will get sorted.”

Al­lan John­ston, the man­ager, dis­missed the prospect of his play­ers re­fus­ing to play by say­ing: “I don’t think the boys would ever do any­thing like that.”

He shares Clin­gan’s frus­tra­tion over the lack of praise for the team’s trans­for­ma­tion this sea­son and said of the bonus is­sue: “It’s still on­go­ing, as I’m sure it is at many other clubs, and we’re go­ing to deal with it in­ter­nally. The play­ers haven’t got the credit they de­serve both in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively for the way they have played this year.”

His side will en­sure they are on the back pages for foot­ball rea­sons if they get a re­sult at Park­head but Clin­gan knows Kil­marnock will need to be at their best.

“If we got a win it would be mas­sive for us be­cause we’d go six points ahead, although ob­vi­ously they have a game in hand,” he said. “They have been do­ing very well in Europe to be fair with seven points out of nine. It’s a mas­sive task for us but our lads are full of con­fi­dence with the re­sults we’ve been get­ting. We’ll be go­ing there hop­ing we can turn them over.”

NO DIS­TRAC­TION: Clin­gan says the play­ers’ fo­cus is on the pitch

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