Kilmarnock boss welcomes full house against Celtic

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Interview - Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels is happy that Celtic fans have been given three stands for their potential title-winning trip to Rugby Park.

That's because the extra revenue will be used to fund the relaying of the pitch when the season is complete.

"If it helps us to lay down a new pitch, that's my be all and end all," Shiels told BBC Scotland.

"It's killed us this season. It was the main contributing factor for us not reaching the top six."

Shiels, who favours a fast-tempo passing game, has often lamented the poor condition of the playing surface during this campaign.

"The most important thing for my future is to have a good pitch to play on," he added.

"If we can do that, we'll definitely do better next season."

Celtic need a point to wrap up the Scottish Premier League on Saturday but Kilmarnock have been troublesome opponents for Neil Lennon's champions-in-waiting.

The Ayrshire side stunned Celtic to win last month's League Cup final and the last meeting of the teams at Rugby Park produced a memorable 3-3 draw.

"It's difficult to reproduce," Shiels said of Killie's 1-0 win at Hampden.

"We were lucky in the final, we were lucky in the 3-3 draw, we were lucky against Rangers twice.

"We have been very lucky and hopefully our luck holds out.

"We're playing against better players so when you beat them or draw with them, it's a great feeling of satisfaction.

"To beat Celtic or draw with them, or be close to them, is an achievement.

"If we try to match Celtic, they will walk all over the top of us. We have got to try to get an edge if we can and that's all we can hope for.

"They are coming to win a title and we are just little Kilmarnock so it's going to be difficult."

Shiels is also likely to be in hot water for heaping pressure on match officials ahead of Saturday's lunchtime kick off.

The Killie boss claimed Celtic benefited from poor refereeing when they beat St Johnstone 2-0 last Sunday, saying decisions were "amazingly loaded" in the league leaders' favour.

"They are coming to win a title, that's their foremost thought, but human nature takes over and they will want to get revenge for the cup final, there is no question of that," he said.

"And I hope we have a strong referee because that's vitally important. They didn't have one last Sunday and it favoured Celtic considerably.

"I don't know if there is going to be an inquiry but the decisions were amazingly loaded towards Celtic."

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