Kris Boyd backs Lee McCulloch to succeed at Kilmarnock

Lee McCulloch (right) on the Kilmarnock bench beside manager Gary Locke
Lee McCulloch (right) looked on from the Kilmarnock dugout in Saturday's 1-0 friendly win at Berwick

Kris Boyd is backing new arrival Lee McCulloch to have a positive impact at Kilmarnock.

McCulloch, 37, has agreed a three-year player-coach deal with the Ayrshire club, following Boyd from Rangers to Rugby Park.

"Lee will be a great addition on and off the field," Boyd told BBC Scotland.

"He's had a career at the highest level, north and south of the border. He has great experience and he'll be looking to pass that on."

Having taken over in April after a caretaker stint, manager Gary Locke has been busy rebuilding the Killie squad this summer.

And McCulloch will be the third player to make the switch from Ibrox, following Boyd and Stevie Smith.

"For Kilmarnock, it's a great opportunity to bring in a young coach to work with Gary and hopefully there will be stability at the club for the next few years," added Boyd who believes McCulloch will have no trouble playing in the top flight despite his veteran status.

Stevie Smith, Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch
Stevie Smith, Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch have moved from Ibrox to Rugby Park

"Lee played 40-odd games for Rangers last year, it would be pretty difficult to just hang the boots up.

"The older you get, you need to be playing regularly.

"But he's the same as everyone else; if he's performing he'll be in the team, if he's not, he'll be out of it. That's the way the manager is.

"It's good that we have competition for places in the squad."

Boyd, 31, is beginning his third spell at Kilmarnock, having knocked in 22 goals in the 2013-14 season before leaving to play for Rangers.

But the Scotland international could only manage 10 goals in 43 appearances for a Rangers team playing in the second tier last term.

"I've never really been one that's doubted myself," Boyd said of his dip in form.

"I tend not to get carried away when I'm doing well and it's the same when I'm not doing so well.

"This is a great opportunity for me to come back and prove to myself that I'm still good enough to play at this level.

"In terms of last season, it's best just to cut it all off. There's not a lot of positives to take from it and it's difficult to put my finger on the reasons why.

"Now it's time to get my head down and get ready for the new season and start scoring goals again."

Dale Carrick and Kallum Higginbotham are among the other new signings at Kilmarnock and Boyd is aiming for a repeat of the club's promising opening last season when they won six of their first 10 league matches.

"All the guys have settled in really well and training has been sharp," he explained.

"Hopefully we can get off to the same kind of start as last year."

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