Kilmarnock: Lee Clark declares continued 'loyalty' as manager

Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark and Morton counterpart Jim Duffy
Lee Clark's side suffered a surprise home defeat by Greenock Morton

Lee Clark has reiterated his commitment to Kilmarnock, saying the source of a story he was about to quit after only five months as manager was a mystery.

Kilmarnock lie behind Championship side Greenock Morton in their Scottish League Cup group.

It comes after Clark signed 11 players during the close season, the oldest of whom is only 22.

"There's no question about my loyalty. I've no idea where these stories come from," said the 43-year-old.

"I've not seen the story and I always say actions speak louder than words.

"I'm still here and I'm honoured to be the manager here.

"I've had fantastic backing from the board of directors and the supporters.

"I've got a fantastic group of players, who are great characters, great lads. So the work goes on."

Clark had been appointed to replace Gary Locke in the hope of lifting Kilmarnock clear of relegation, but they had to rely on a play-off win over Falkirk to preserve his side's place in the Premiership after they finished second bottom.

Morton's Jai Quitongo (left) celebrates his goal against Kilmarnock
Jai Quitongo (left) scored Morton's second goal in a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock on Saturday

"I've really grown to love the place," he insisted. "I enjoy coming in every day.

"I'm desperate to be successful for the people of Kilmarnock."

Clark was still hopeful that his side, who lost at home to Morton and had to come from two goals down to beat League Two outfit Berwick Rangers 3-2 in midweek and host Albion Rovers in their final game, could qualify from Group H.

"Hopefully we can get the win which should see us through as one of the best runners-up, or if there's a shock in the Morton-Berwick game, we can go through as group winners," said the former Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City and Blackpool boss.

"Confidence isn't an issue. If I include the friendly games we've played, we've won five out of six.

"If we start the season like that, we'll be more than happy.

"I certainly think this group of players will get us to an improved level on last season.

"It's a big ask to get into the top half, but with a little luck and a good start, I think we can achieve that."

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