Alexei Eremenko was exceptional, says Kilmarnock boss Johnston

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Rugby Park
Alexei Eremenko in action for Kilmarnock against Partick Thistle
Eremenko did not score against Thistle but set up two goals

Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston found it too hard not to single out Alexei Eremenko for his performance in the 3-0 win against Partick Thistle.

The Russian-born Finn assisted with two goals in Killie's fourth league win of the season.

"In a game like that it's hard to pick out individuals but I think there's got to be a special mention for Eremenko," Johnston told BBC Scotland.

"Some of his passing and play was exceptional.

Capped 59 times for Finland and in his second spell at Killie, Eremenko was sent off in the midweek League Cup loss to St Johnstone, but was eligible on Saturday since it was in a different competition.

"You can see he's getting fitter and fitter," explained Johnston. "He's got that quality and final pass.

"When he's in that type of form he's impossible to leave out. He's a constant danger to the opposition.

"It was important we got a response after the defeat in midweek. We showed a lot of character and quality.

"Not just scoring goals and creating a lot of chances, but also defensively. It's another clean sheet and that's what we struggled with last season."

Allan Johnston on Kilmarnock's win
"It's another clean sheet and that's what we struggled with last season"

Tope Obadeyi scored his second and third goals of the season against the Jags, either side of a bullet header by captain Manuel Pascali.

The Italian has been in East Ayrshire for six years now and is a firm fans favourite at Rugby Park.

And Johnston added: "He's struck up a really good partnership with Mark Connolly at the heart of the defence. You can see his experience, talking to Mark."

Next up for fifth-place Kilmarnock is a match against Dundee United on Friday.

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