Kilmarnock: Allan Johnston confident of recovery

Allan Johnston has insisted to disgruntled Kilmarnock fans that he has the ability to end a poor start to the Premiership season.

"We are hurting as much as they are," the manager told BBC Scotland after the 3-1 defeat by St Johnstone.

"I've got belief in myself. It is a tester in times like this, but we know we can turn the corner and just have to work even harder.

"But we should be doing a lot better than we are doing."

Kilmarnock's cause in Perth was not helped by having Jackson Irvine and Darren Barr sent off.

"You can see the boys we've got are good players," said Johnston, whose side are second bottom of the table.

"The second half performance, when we were down to 10 men and eventually nine men, some of the passing was different class, but it's too little too late."

Johnston insisted that the players had not let the campaign by some fans to force chairman Michael Johnston out of the club affect their performances.

"We have enough to worry about on the park to have other distractions and make that an excuse," he said.

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Interview: Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston

Johnston thought the red cards had been harsh.

"The referees have a very hard job, but you look at Jackson Irvine's first booking - it looked from where I was it was his momentum rather than anything else," he said.

"So I think it was a really harsh booking. Even his second booking, Chris Millar says after the game he actually got the ball."

Nigel Hasselbaink opened the scoring after 24 minutes, Stevie May scored the second before adding another from the penalty spot as Irvine was sent off.

"After starting the game brightly, there was nothing in the game and then one long ball, we got caught out," added Johnston.

"The second goal, an individual mistake again and then the third goal he manages to waltz past about three people before slipping the ball in to give away a penalty."

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