Kilmarnock V St Mirren at Rugby Park : Match Preview
Kilmarnock V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Harkins demands more from himselfKilmarnock midfielder Gary Harkins has given himself a target of improving his end product after being disappointed with his debut season at Rugby Park.Harkins impressed many observers in an attacking midfield role after signing from Dundee and helped Killie win the Scottish Communities League Cup, but he was not quite so pleased with himself.The 27-year-old hit two goals on the way to the Hampden triumph over Celtic, but only scored once in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.Harkins netted a brilliant solo goal against Motherwell earlier this season from an advanced midfield role and Paul Heffernan's broken collarbone has put more responsibility on his shoulders.But he appears to be his own harshest critic as he prepares to return to the starting line-up for tomorrow`s SPL visit of St Mirren."I put the pressure on myself," the former Blackburn trainee said. "I had a disappointing season last year for myself. I thought I had started this season a lot better and then daft head knocks slowed me down a bit."But I`m looking forward to getting back into it and hopefully scoring a few more goals."Personally I didn't score enough goals or create enough last year, and I'll hopefully do more this year."I did okay but as a player you always want to do a bit better and that's what I have set my sights on this year."Harkins could replace Borja Perez in the side, with the Spaniard struggling with a groin strain. That could see him linking up with Cillian Sheridan, who is set to make his home debut.Harkins said: "He (Sheridan) had a great season last year at St Johnstone. He has looked really sharp in training."It will be good to get playing with him and create a few goals for him and he can do the same for me if I`m lucky."He`s very quick and strong and he`s a good footballer, the sort of front man you want in your team."All strikers are confidence players and once they get one or two they fire goals in, and hopefully that will happen with Cillian."St Mirren's Steven Thompson has moved to dampen down any excitement surrounding his side's encouraging start to the campaign.The Buddies are in third place with nine points from six games and providing fixtures at the weekend go their way, victory over Kilmarnock could see them go top of the table.The former Rangers, Cardiff and Burnley striker insists he is not being pessimistic about his club's prospects, but he has been in the game too long to read too much into early-season promise."It has been a positive start but you don't want to get carried away, it is only six games," he told Press Association Sport."I have seen it happen a million times when people are saying things are brilliant and blah blah blah."Also, I have seen teams have bad starts and people write them off."I would like to put the reins on a bit and say let's not get too excited. It is far too early in the season to make judgements."The start is nice but it doesn't mean anything really, it is about being consistent, not just for six games but for 38 games."Look at Dundee United last year, they had a poor start to the season and ended up finishing fourth."We have been open about our aims, we want to get into the top six and to get there we are going to have to be consistent."When you move into the last third of the season, that's when you want to hit peak form."It is going to be a very difficult game against Kilmarnock."They play expansive football and so do we, it's not two teams closing out the midfield."So generally, it is an attractive game of football."
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