Kilmarnock: Lee Clark retains 'total belief' in squad

Lee Clark
Lee Clark is confident Kilmarnock will beat relegation

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark has "total belief" his team will retain their Scottish Premiership status after defeat to Partick Thistle consigned them to a relegation play-off.

Killie face Hibernian or Falkirk of the Championship over two legs.

"Falkirk and Hibs are terrific teams," said Clark.

"But I have still got total belief in the players that, come the end of those play-off games, we'll still be a Premiership team."

Interviews: Clark and Archibald

Steven Lawless and Kris Doolan scored for Thistle, who won 2-0 on Saturday, with the Rugby Park side denied a penalty when striker Kris Boyd was pulled back in the box.

"It's a blatant pull of the jersey at 0-0," said Clark, whose side had defeated Hamilton Academical 4-0 last week.

"Goals change games and, if you get the first goal, you gain confidence, especially after what we were coming off the back of last week.

"You can see it from where I am, you guys have probably seen it from the back of the stand, so why it hasn't been given I don't know. But that is not me blaming the officials for the end result."

Ahead of the play-off final, Clark said performances and results were important in the remaining two regular season matches.

"We're not going to be babies about it," he said. "We've got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and go again and look at the next two games as important for us in terms of when it comes to the play-off.

"There might be something different tactically I want to look at, something personnel-wise I want to look at.

"Ultimately, we want to give performances and results in the next two because winning breeds confidence.

"We want to win, take six points from six and see where that takes us in terms of our momentum and confidence for the play-offs."

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald was pleased his team put any lingering relegation fears to bed.

"It was a really good, professional performance from the lads," he said. "We knew how difficult it was going to be and you could tell Kilmarnock were up for it, fighting for their lives.

"We matched them in every department and deservedly won the game.

"The fans really got behind Kilmarnock. It was important we relaxed under the pressure of it and we dealt with a lot of the long throws and corners and got the goal at a good time, which changed it for us."

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