Kilmarnock V Hibernian at Rugby Park : Match Preview

23 August 2013 08:31
Kilmarnock V Hibernian - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Samson craving first win

Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson insists his side will be going all out to record their first win of the season against Hibernian.

After losing to Aberdeen on the opening day, Killie have responded with draws against St Johnstone and St Mirren and Samson believes they are going in the right direction.

"We were disappointing on the opening day against Aberdeen but the last two games have been good," Samson said.

"We are looking for three points against Hibs."

Samson is relishing the chance to pass on his experience to the young Kilmarnock goalkeepers who are following in his footsteps.

Samson returned to Rugby Park this summer after eight years away with the likes of Dundee United, Ross County, Hereford, Ayr and, most recently, St Mirren.

The 29-year-old only made one first-team appearance in his first spell at the club but his Rugby Park education set him up for a career that has included Scotland recognition, most recently when he was named in the squad to face Belgium and Macedonia next month.

And Samson is keen to pass on his knowledge to the latest crop of Killie keepers.

Samson said: "It's a bit different coming back here having played games.

"If I can pass on my knowledge to any of the young goalkeepers then I'd be delighted to do that

"There is a lot of talented youngsters here. When I was here before, Gordon Marshall, Colin Meldrum and Jim Stewart were brilliant for me and set me up in my career."

Killie striker Kris Boyd begins a two-match ban, but Barry Nicholson and Mark Stewart are set for their home debuts after signing in the build-up to the St Mirren Park draw.

Hibernian goalkeeper Ben Williams insists discipline is not an issue within the Easter Road squad following Kevin Thomson's red card last Saturday.

The Scotland international was sent off along with Dundee United's Gavin Gunning in the 1-1 draw with the Arabs after he reacted furiously to the Englishman's high tackle.

Hibs were told on Thursday than the former Rangers man would be banned for two games after an appeal against the dismissal was rejected by the Scottish Football Association.

Williams accepts the suspension is the last thing under-pressure Hibs boss Pat Fenlon needs following their nightmare start to the season but the Englishman insists Thomson's reaction was not a sign of an out-of-control dressing room and instead a reflection of a dangerous tackle that left the player badly marked afterwards.

He told Press Association Sport: "Losing Kevin is a big blow. We have got a fantastic squad and have got people who can come in to his position but with the start we have had, he's probably been our stand-out player. His quality has really shown and we are starting to see a fit Kevin Thomson and how he runs the game.

"Whether the manager spoke to him is between the two of them. But I spoke to Kevin at the time on the pitch and he didn't think it was a sending off. He reacted to the tackle but he didn't make any contact with the lad and that's why the club appealed.

"Discipline is important in any game. Maybe now that we are in a position that we really need to get results we need to keep 11 men on the park. But my view is that Kevin has been really unlucky."

Skipper James McPake is nearing a return to fitness from his back injury but is still not ready to play while Alex Harris and Paul Cairney (both ankle) are ruled out for the long term.

Knocks to Liam Craig and Scott Robertson mean both midfielders are doubts for the game.

Source: PA

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