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Kilmarnock V St Johnstone at Rugby Park : Match Preview

04 Apr 2014 14:31:00

Kilmarnock V St Johnstone at Rugby Park : Match Preview

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


Boyd keeps focus on Killie

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd insists he will not make a decision about where he will play next season until he makes sure his current club are safe.


Rangers boss Ally McCoist wants to hand the Scotland frontman an Ibrox return, while there is also interest from English League One side Rotherham.


But Boyd insists he has put all thoughts about his future to one side after admitting he owes it to Killie to save Allan Johnston's side from the drop.


The Rugby Park outfit have a five-point cushion separating them from the Scottish Premiership's relegation play-off spot but the 30-year-old is still worried.


He said: "There has been a lot of rumours flying about. But I know I have not spoken to anyone and that's the way it will stay until the end of the season.


"I want to stay fully focused, score as many goals as possible and hopefully help Kilmarnock stay in this division.


"If the club were to go down, the way the finances are these days, it would be pretty difficult for them to sustain the number of players they have got, so it is the most important thing that the club stays in this division.


"Kilmarnock gave me the chance to play football again and I'm grateful for that. I wasn't playing much football but I knew if I could get myself fit I could do it again and I was grateful for Kenny Shiels signing me last year.


"But the club can't rely on individuals. We're a team and we have to march forward together, so that's why I can't go into training every day if my focus is elsewhere."


Boyd won back-to-back league winner's medals with Rangers and knows what it takes to survive in a tense run-in.


But he does not think his Ibrox experiences will necessarily benefit Killie as they approach their final six fixtures of the season.


"I don't think you can compare the two run-ins. Nine times out of 10 when you are going for a title, you are winning games week in, week out.


"But we are finding ourselves in a position where we might win one week but then not do it again for another two or three.


"That's why we are where we are. The most important thing for us now is to focus on the performance we had against Motherwell in the second half last week and push on from there."


Suspended Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali will complete his two-match ban but Rory McKenzie could feature despite being stretchered off with a shoulder injury after scoring the equaliser in last week's 2-1 win at Motherwell.


Stevie May insists he would give up his shot at breaking a 22-year-old scoring record if it guaranteed the Perth men a third season of European football.


The Scotland Under-21 international grabbed his 18th Scottish Premiership goal of the season last week against Partick to draw level with Paul Wright's post-war tally for most goals scored by a Saint during a league season.





He now has six games - starting with Saturday's clash against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park - to claim the honour all for himself.





But the 21-year-old - who was not even born when Wright set his record for the McDiarmid men - insists he would rather have another crack at the Europa League than revel in personal glory.





May, who opened his account for the season with the winning goal to knock out Norwegian big guns Rosenborg back in July, said: "I'd put all my own personal achievements to one side if it meant we could climb the league or get to the final of the Scottish Cup and claim a Europa League place.





"If it was a choice between me breaking the record and another crack at Europe, I'd take Europe. Easy.





"The team is the most important thing. The record would be nice to have but it's not vitally important."





The most prolific Saints striker in the top division of Scottish football was Jimmy Munro with 29 goals in 36 games back in season 1926/27.





May is not betting on himself to beat that, but has backed himself to grab a goal a game for the rest of the campaign.





"To score 29 league goals in a season is ridiculous. Whoever achieved that deserves a medal. I'm not sure that is achievable for me though.





"But it would be nice to beat Paul Wright's record. I didn't really know much about it until somebody tweeted me to tell me I was one away. I don't know Paul and I wasn't even born when he set that record, but it would be great to beat it.





"But I don't want to stop there. If I could get 25 goals I would be happy. My target has gone up a few times this season but 25 goals has to be a realistic aim."





St Johnstone are 15 points adrift of third-placed Motherwell so their best hope of securing Europa League action would be to win the William Hill Scottish Cup.





Saints midfielder Gary McDonald will miss Saturday's game with a knee injury but boss Tommy Wright will be able to call upon Lee Croft after he shook off a slight knock picked up in training.






PA

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