Twelth Man Required To Find Voice
So close to a top six finish target, Kenny Shiels appeals to the fans to help them over the line
Manager Kenny Shiels wants Kilmarnock supporters to match the enthusiasm shown by St Mirren fans as they strive for a top-six finish in the SPL. If Killie win on Saturday against Dundee, their place is secured but could have made the job a whole lot more comfortable had they done better than draw 1-1 with the Buddies last night. A crowd of less than 4,500 turned out to see Kris Boyd score his first goal on Scottish soil in almost three years as he equalised Esmael Goncalves' first-half goal for the Scottish Communities League Cup winners. However, Shiels wants that figure doubled for the weekend game with John Brown's Dens Park side who are fighting for SPL survival. The Killie manager hopes they can offer the same kind of encouragement to his young team as displayed by the Buddies' noisy fans.Kenny Shiels wants fans right behind his side (c) Ger Harley | SportPix.org.uk
He said: "Hibs came here and knocked us out of the Scottish Cup and their supporters had a massive part to play in that. They were brilliant. Once again tonight, the St Mirren support got behind their team, as our supporters do on our travels. We've won in Edinburgh twice, went to Dundee and won, played four games unbeaten in the Highlands and our supporters have been fantastic. But we need to get behind our team, because we have got two teams at every football club. When you are starting with six academy players that have come through the system, that is their family. The fans have to recognise that is their family. The fact we have got so many homegrown players and more coming through is testament to the family spirit we have." However, Shiels defended the fans who let out the odd audible groan at young defender Mark O'Hara as he faced up to the speedy Goncalves, insisting: "That's not criticism - that's frustration and that happens in all walks of life but we need the fans to be behind the team more and I'm looking for seven or eight thousand on Saturday."Saints manager Danny Lennon, meanwhile, has yet to decide if the club will contest charges laid out by SFA compliance officer Vincent Luny against Goncalves. The on-loan Rio Ave striker is alleged to have dived to win a penalty against Celtic on Sunday. Luny has also issued a Notice of Complain against Celtic manager Neil Lennon following the 1-1 draw after he allegedly directed a foul-mouthed insult at St Mirren skipper Jim Goodwin. But his namesake admitted he was surprised the matter had gone that far. The Buddies manager said: "I've not heard the situation but that is part and parcel of the game. We're all big enough men to handle that side of things. You know, sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. I don't know who makes the decisions, I don't know where they come from but it's out with my control."
Related Scotland News