Win a must for Killie Euro hopes, says manager Shiels

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Kilmarnock caretaker manager Kenny Shiels
Shiels is still waiting for his first win as Kilmarnock manager

Kilmarnock caretaker manager Kenny Shiels believes his team must beat Dundee United to stand any chance of qualifying for Europe.

The team finishing fourth in the Scottish Premier League has an outside chance of sealing a place in next season's Europa League.

Killie are five points behind fourth-placed United ahead of Saturday's lunchtime meeting at Tannadice.

"Being realistic, yes, we have to win," Shiels told BBC Scotland.

"If you go there and get a point, you are still five behind. Taking five points [more than United] from your last four games is a big ask.

"If we go there and get beaten, obviously that's it, but I feel we can go there and produce a positive outcome."

Shiels has had two draws and one defeat from his three matches in charge isince Mixu Paatelainen left the Ayrshire club and now he would like to claim his first victory against Peter Houston's men.

"I'd like to get the win for the club and put us in a better position as we strive to try and get fourth place," he said.

"If we win on Saturday, we are still in fifth but we'll be better poised going into the Hearts game."

Shiels' side lost 4-0 to Celtic on Wednesday and the Killie boss had sympathy for the off-field problems of his fellow Northern Irishman, Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who was sent a parcel bomb that was intercepted at a sorting office.

"I'm not happy about that," he added. "These are isolated things and I'm not in a position to judge on that because politics is not for me.

"But certainly the fact it has happened to someone in my profession, I'm concerned and don't want it to happen, but it only takes one nutter.

"The people that sent that are probably not, definitely not, football supporters. They've got different agendas.

"So I don't think that is from within football. That's outside of football where these things have come from."