Shiels Will Carry On Speaking As He Finds
Kenny Shiels got it in the neck from all quarters for offering views on the opposition but he is unrepentant
Kenny Shiels has been stung by the reaction to his "honest account" of recent games. The Killie manager was the target for criticism from some quarters of the media for criticising the tactics of Ayrshire rivals Ayr United in their Scottish Communities League Cup final at Hampden. Killie eventually scored the only goal of the game in the second half of extra time and will meet Celtic in the final next month. The Ayrshire side will not be returning the Hampden in the Scottish Cup as they lost to Hibs in the fifth-round at Easter Road on Saturday. Shiels brought more critical attention on his words when he claimed that time-wasting by Hibs keeper Graham Stack wrecked Kilmarnock's hopes of a cup double. Speaking ahead on Tuesday's league game against Dunfermline, the Killie manager claims his honesty has backfired on him to the extent that he sees it as a "fault" rather than a virtue. He said: "I give an honest accurate account of how I see a football game and when I am asked questions I always give an honest answer. I don't like being evasive. I have to give a clear picture. But I see that as a fault in myself because I am getting slaughtered. I was slaughtered for what I said about Ayr, which is 100% true, I got slaughtered for what I said on Saturday. It hurts when they do things like that. I shouldn't take that personally but all I am doing is giving an honest account of how the game went and sometimes you have to talk about time-wasting if it is there and it has a major impact. And what I said was true, and people have to understand this. We did DVD analysis and their goalkeeper was on the ball for seven minutes and 25 seconds. It is 100% true. He was taking 18 seconds and 22 seconds from when the ball went behind for a goal kick, not him holding the ball. And when they scored it was alarming how it went up. I was frustrated, not angry. I don't blame Graham Stack, I blame the fourth official and the referee, Iain Brines. We kept asking the fourth official to talk to the referee. Seemingly he did and the referee said that he told the centre-half to tell the goalkeeper. And that was the way they acted on it. I am not going to change but I am not allowed to talk about the opposition any more, that's the situation I have got myself into." Bottom side Dunfermline won 3-0 at Rugby Park last month, a result which Shiels remembers all too well. He said: "It will be tough, they gave us what for down at Kilmarnock when they beat us 3-0. It wasn't a day for football and they played the conditions better than we did. They are only one point behind Hibs and there is a lot of football to be played. I watched them at Motherwell and they gave a good account of themselves. But we know the importance of reaching the top six and we know if we win tomorrow night we are in there."
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