KILLIE A DANGER
BRENDAN RODGERS insists Kilmarnock have earned the right to dream of doing a Leicester City.
The Celtic boss is adamant Steve Clarke’s side are capable of copying the Foxes’ fairytale title-winning success of 2016 which saw the 5,000-1 outsiders land one the most unlikely triumphs in football history.
Evidence of Killie’s remarkable resurgence was laid bare with the statistic that they are only three points behind the champions over the last 38 games.
Rodgers (inset) said: “Steve has done great, he’s really galvanised the club and team. The biggest credit you can give Steve and his team is that it’s not a surprise.
“If you’ve watched them over the last year they’ve been consistently very, very good at getting results.
“Where they are now – OK they have played a couple more games than other teams – but they have got the results and they have got the points.
“They are a very, very difficult team to play against. They defend very deep. They are tight and well organised and compact. You need to be very patient when you are playing against them and you need to be able to move the ball quickly.”
Just a point separates Killie from Rodgers’ men and he recognises Clarke’s managerial nous as a boss who is carved in his own image.
He said: “Steve and I are both what you would call coaching managers. We like to coach. We like to be on the grass with the players and feel them close and help them develop. That’s our natural habitat.
“My mission when I first came in here was to try and inspire the players to be the best they can possibly be. Stevie is getting the best out of the experienced guys like Gary Dicker and Chris Burke, who have been around the block and understand the game.
“And he’s getting the best out of the boy Stephen O’donnell and Greg Taylor who has done great. He’s nurtured and developed them and shown his coaching qualities. He’s doing a fantastic job. It’s not an accident how consistent they are. Now they have a belief they can win games.” Rodgers has no fresh injury worries but Killie defender Kirk Broadfoot is a doubt after being carried off with a head injury in the win over Livingston.
UNLIKELY LEADERS Kilmarnock’s Greg Stewart (left) scores in 2-0 win over Livingston on Wednesday