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Kilmarnock V Partick at Rugby Park : Match Preview

18 Apr 2014 16:01:00

Kilmarnock V Partick at Rugby Park : Match Preview

Kilmarnock V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Pascali back for Killie after ban

Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali returns from suspension when Partick visit Rugby Park on Saturday.


Midfielder Sammy Clingan is also back in the squad following a knee injury.


Greg Kiltie (ankle) and Darren Barr (hip) remain on the sidelines.


Kris Boyd feels his nomination for PFA Scotland's player of the year award is vindication of his belief and determination that he could return to the top level in Scotland.


Boyd faced a big decision after returning from Portland Timbers following seven goals in 26 games in his one season in Major League Soccer in the autumn of 2012.


The former Rangers striker had previously endured a mixed time in England with Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest and an unhappy five-month spell in Turkey, when he was never paid and hardly played.


After winning his legal battle with Eskisehirspor for breach of contract, Boyd could have retired a rich man, but he decided to go back to first club Kilmarnock and prove himself all over again.


After an inauspicious start in the final months of last season, Boyd has shown his talent for finding the net this season with 19 goals.


"I wanted to come back and prove to myself I could still perform at the top level in Scotland because it would have been quite easy for me just to come back home and wrap it and just enjoy my life," the 30-year-old said.


"I didn't want to do that, I wanted to get back playing football and scoring goals.


"I was in the wilderness, I had other options to go abroad but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to come back home and be settled and play football on a regular basis.


"I went back to where it all began and it was great. For the first two or three months I struggled because I wasn't fit. I hadn't played for six or seven months. But straight away after I got a pre-season I found myself in a good place scoring goals and generally I have performed to a standard I have been happy with."


Jordan McMillan aims to banish some turbulent times in his career by helping Partick Thistle secure their Scottish Premiership status.


McMillan has endured a frustrating season with injury, making 11 only appearances, but is fully fit ahead of the crucial final five games.


With fellow right-back Stephen O'Donnell out for the season following hip surgery, the 25-year-old is focused on taking the Jags out of the relegation play-off spot, starting with Saturday's trip to Kilmarnock.


McMillan said: "The first half of the season was very frustrating. I was feeling really good pre-season and then I broke down with an injury and kept coming back too quick.


"Personally it wasn't great but the team was doing well so I was happy with that.


"I came back into it and I'm fit now. It's the tail end of the season obviously but I'm still looking forward to getting on with it."


McMillan's previous two years were even more unsettling. He left Rangers two weeks before they went into administration in February 2012 but he was not among the lucky ones - his new club Dunfermline were relegated and he was made redundant after 14 months when the Fife club also entered an insolvency process.


"I had two hard times," he said. "At Rangers I left and I didn't know the circumstances and jumped into another one with Dunfermline. I was just very unlucky to be honest.


"But I've left it behind and we are stable enough here and I'm enjoying it now, getting fit and playing to the end of the season."



PA

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