Kilmarnock: Kris Boyd in rallying call to fans against Falkirk

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd
Kris Boyd says Kilmarnock are confident ahead of the final
Scottish Premiership play-off final, first leg: Falkirk v Kilmarnock
Venue: Falkirk Stadium Date: Thurs 19 May Kick-off: 19:45
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport website

Kris Boyd has urged Kilmarnock supporters to turn out in force and help the side see off Falkirk in the Scottish Premiership play-off final.

The former Scotland striker says fans can play their part - as they did in a recent 4-0 win over Hamilton.

"There are usually empty seats everywhere," joked 32-year-old Boyd.

"But I think, when you see the support they gave us at Hamilton, what a difference it can make - and I am sure they will."

Finishing second bottom means that Kilmarnock must face the Bairns, who defeated Hibernian in the semi-final after finishing Championship runners-up, in Thursday's first leg at Falkirk Stadium.

Their fate was sealed by a 2-0 defeat at home by Partick Thistle despite a healthy crowd of nearly 6,000, but Boyd hopes the players will respond should there be a buoyant atmosphere in the second-leg at Rugby Park.

"We asked the fans to come out against Partick Thistle and we let them down," said Boyd before stressing the importance of staying in the Premiership for a club that recently announced a £700,000 loss for the last financial year.

"It is not just for the football club, it is for the town itself, for Ayrshire."

The prospect of a renewed local rivalry following Ayr United's play-off win over Stranraer would be no compensation should Kilmarnock suffer relegation.

Kris Boyd shows his disappointment against Partick Thistle
A defeat by Partick Thistle consigned Kilmarnock to the play-off

"Ayr have been promoted and the only way you want to go and play against them is in a cup tie next year," said Boyd.

"The fans, if they can get behind us, can be that 12th man.

"We have shown we can perform in front of the bigger crowds.

"Against the bigger teams in the league, we have actually performed alright this season.

"It has been the teams round about us that have killed us."

Kilmarnock have gone three games without a victory and only won twice in 13 outings, while Falkirk are on a seven-game unbeaten run.

However, Boyd is hopeful that his side can repeat last year's success for Motherwell, when the Premiership side defeated Championship challengers Rangers in the play-off final.

"We can handle the pressure," he insisted. "It is two games we look forward to with confidence.

"Bring on Thursday. We know it is going to be a tough game, but we will be more than ready for it."

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