Kilmarnock: Kris Boyd urges fans to return and back Steve Clarke

Kris Boyd scores the opening goal in Saturday's 2-0 win for Kilmarnock against Partick Thistle
Kris Boyd scored the opening goal in Saturday's 2-0 win for Kilmarnock against Partick Thistle

Kris Boyd has urged Kilmarnock fans to play their part in the club's revival following the appointment of Steve Clarke as manager.

Only 3,337 fans attended Killie's last home match, a 2-0 defeat by Ross County in what proved to be Lee McCulloch's final match in charge.

Now, with a new man at the helm, striker Boyd wants the fans to come back and get behind the team.

"Go and back the new manager," Boyd said on Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"Go and back what [majority shareholder] Billy Bowie and the board have done. Come back and support the team."

Attendances at Rugby Park in the league this season have averaged just under 5,000, although that figure is boosted considerably by the large travelling Celtic support among a crowd of 10,069 when Killie hosted the Scottish champions in August.

Boyd believes Clarke's appointment has given everybody at the club a lift, pointing to Saturday's 2-0 win away to Partick Thistle, Killie's first Premiership win of the campaign, as evidence.

Although he did not take charge of the team at Firhill - confirmation of his appointment came just hours before kick-off - Boyd says Clarke's presence in the stands was a boost.

"We even saw on Saturday the lift that the crowd got from him being there and hopefully that is a continuous step in the right direction because the crowds at Rugby Park have dwindled away," Boyd continued.

Kilmarnock against Ross County
Only 3,337 fans attended Kilmarnock's last home match, a 2-0 home defeat by Ross County

"I think it's an excellent appointment. I think, for the first time since Bobby Williamson left Kilmarnock and Jim Jefferies came in - he came in having won things in the past, Steve Clarke brings that now to the football club.

"It's no disrespect to the football managers that have been there in the past, but he's a presence, he's a name, he's worked with top managers.

"I'm sure Kilmarnock will definitely be in good hands going forward.

"The players need to step up as well and I'm sure that will be the case."

'It's a clean slate for everybody'

Clarke has worked with top players while coaching at big clubs such as Newcastle United, Chelsea and Liverpool - and during managerial spells at West Bromwich Albion and Reading.

Boyd does not foresee any problems with his new manager adjusting to the standard of players in the Scottish Premiership.

"This is a fresh challenge," the former Scotland striker explained. "Reading probably would have been a step down from where he's been.

"As managers and coaches, you're always looking to test yourself and I think that's where Steve Clarke is right now.

"He's been out the game for a year, he's probably been bored and wants to get back into it. It's a challenge now for him to go and get the best out of us as we've been under-performing.

"He's come up from being in England and he probably won't know the majority of players, so it is a clean slate for everybody.

"Everybody has the opportunity to perform, but like every other manager, he'll be looking to bring in his own players to put his own stamp on it.

"He was born in Ayrshire, he's got that and the fans will buy into that right away.

"The fans have been craving somebody to get a hold of and go on a journey and I just hope for Kilmarnock's sake that it is Steve Clarke."

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