Kris Boyd: Kilmarnock setting sights on top-four finish

Kris Boyd and Dylan McGeouch
Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd scored his 20th goal of the season in Saturday's win over his former club Rangers

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd says the Rugby Park side are targeting fourth place in the Scottish Premiership now they are assured of a top-half finish.

With three games to play before the league splits in two, Steve Clarke's side know they will finish in the top six for the first time since 2010-11.

Currently fifth, Killie trail fourth-placed Hibernian by six points.

"Now we're in fifth, we're starting to say 'can we push on and get fourth?'" Boyd, 34, said on BBC Radio Scotland.

"We're four clear of Hearts, with a game in hand as well. Fifth would be an unbelievable achievement for us but I think we don't want the season just to peter out, we want to push on and hopefully try and catch Hibs.

"Over the years, there's not many games that have been won in the top six. If we can go and win those three games between now and the split, we give ourselves a chance.

"Hibs are a very, very good team but we feel if we continue the way that we have, the last three games before the split we've Hamilton twice and [Partick] Thistle as well. Are they winnable? Yes.

"We go into them with confidence and then in the top six, anything can happen."

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Highlights: Rangers 0-1 Kilmarnock

Boyd scored against his former club as Kilmarnock beat Rangers 1-0 at Ibrox on Saturday, while dropped points over the weekend by Motherwell and Hamilton Academical meant Killie will be in the top six, though Well can still catch sixth-placed Hearts.

Hibs are chasing Aberdeen and Rangers with leaders Celtic closing in on a seventh successive top-flight title.

"When you look at the top six as it stands right now, five of them should be in there with the money they're spending, the size of the club, the gates they get," Boyd said on Sportsound.

"So there was really only one place up for grabs for me at the start of the season, or it should be. For us to get in there, it's great for Kilmarnock."

'I was ready to chuck career'

Boyd's haul of 20 goals this season includes 15 in the Premiership, making him the league's top scorer.

His form was rewarded with a contract extension for next season but he admits he came close to calling time on his career before Clarke was appointed manager in October when the club was languishing near the foot of the table.

"When you go back a few months, it was dreamland if you'd have thought where we would've been right now," added Boyd.

"I look back at the start of the season, I was ready to chuck it. I had had enough. I felt as if my body was done. The first conversation I had with [Steve Clarke] was I was ready to wrap it [only] for him to be able to talk me round to stay.

"Did I believe I had 20 goals in me? Yes, I'll back my ability, but it's the guys round about me. I know I can score goals, I know I can get into positions but there's now players round about me that can do what I can't do - Jordan Jones, Rory McKenzie, Youssouf Mulumbu, Lee Erwin's come in.

"The big one for me has been Eamonn Brophy. I think that the kid has got a real chance.

"The way I am now is the exact same as what I was at 20, 21 years old. I've always depended on my team-mates creating opportunities."

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