Steve Clarke: Kilmarnock pride more important than title talk

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Watch: The goals that put Kilmarnock top of the Premiership

Bringing "a bit of pride" back to the town of Kilmarnock is more important than talk of winning the Scottish Premiership, says manager Steve Clarke.

The Ayrshire club went top of the table for the first time since 1998 after a 2-0 win over Livingston on Wednesday.

Kilmarnock visit champions Celtic, who they lead by two points, on Saturday.

"The club's in a better place," manager Clarke said. "The chat about top of the league and great calendar years is really quite irrelevant."

Clarke took over in October 2017 with Kilmarnock at the foot of the Premiership and the former West Bromwich Albion and Reading boss is delighted to have turned round his local club.

"The supporters come and look forward to watching the team. That's important to me," he said. "We have to allow them to dream, to think about crazy things. We have to keep our feet on the ground."

Asked if his side can sustain a title challenge, Clarke would only say: "I believe this team can stay competitive. All I look for really is that we meet our own high standards. If we do that then you never know."

Kilmarnock have gathered more points than any team in the Premiership during 2018, despite having a much smaller budget than their rivals in the current top six.

Clarke said there is "no secret" to their good form and pointed towards the performances of his players.

"I knew it was important to keep the players that we kept and bring in two or three players around that - like Greg Stewart, Aaron Tshibola, Daniel Bachmann - that would give us that little bit extra.

"They are living up to what I think they can do."

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