Clingan: we deserve some credit
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