Rugby Park squad or­dered not to act like Ibrox ‘tourists’ on a jolly

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - MAR­TIN MCMIL­LAN

LEE CLARK, the Kil­marnock man­ager, will tell his play­ers not to act like starstruck tourists at Ibrox on to­day.

The former Newcastle and Sun­der­land mid­fielder was not en­am­oured to see his play­ers reach­ing for their mo­bile phones to take pho­tos at Celtic Park last month be­fore the 6-1 thrash­ing in the Lad­brokes Premiership. Clark wants his side to adopt a more busi­ness-like at­ti­tude when they face Rangers as they look to ex­tend their un­beaten run to four games. “I went to watch an Old Firm game there a few years ago and I am look­ing for­ward to go­ing there the first time as a man­ager and hope­fully I will come away suc­cess­ful,” he said.

“You have to en­joy it but you only en­joy it if you get a pos­i­tive re­sult. I felt a lit­tle bit like we went to Celtic Park and we were a lit­tle bit touristy – the phones out, the cam­eras out, hav­ing a look at the arena rather than get­ting in there and do­ing a job. We will be speak­ing about it, that we are not there to be tak­ing self­ies, tak­ing pic­tures of the sta­dium and wait­ing for the op­po­si­tion to swap shirts etc.

“You can do all that once you have won the game and got a re­sult and we will stress­ing to the play­ers we are there on busi­ness, we are there to get the job done. En­joy the en­vi­ron­ment that you are play­ing in but don’t treat it as a week­end away. It is not, it is a big game.”

Clark is not read­ing too much into the anx­i­ety which sur­rounded Ibrox at times on Wed­nes­day as the home side stut­tered to a 1-1 draw against St John­stone at Ibrox, be­fore be­ing booed off. He said: “I know what it takes to play for big foot­ball clubs and the ex­pec­ta­tion that comes with that and you have to be able to han­dle that.

“It is bril­liant to have that type of sup­port to push you on but if you are not de­liv­er­ing what they ex­pect they are not slow to let you know. One of our best per­for­mances of the sea­son was when we draw with them here 1-1 and that was a hard game for us. We go there with con­fi­dence.”

Clark will mon­i­tor his side’s en­ergy lev­els af­ter Wed­nes­day’s 2-0 win over Hearts at Rugby Park. He said: “Have the play­ers re­cov­ered in time to pro­duce an­other high-level, high-en­ergy per­for­mance be­cause that was the key to the re­sult against Hearts? If we have any chance of get­ting a pos­i­tive re­sult, we have got to re­pro­duce that, so I have to check the play­ers still have that in the tank.”

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