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Will Killie Withstand The Celtic Bounce Back
Published : 08 May 2011 10:31:19Rss feed
Celtic will be keen to recover their form after being embarrased in Inverness. Killie will be without several players as they prepare to meet Celtic at Rugby Park. James Fowler is suspended and Jamie Hamill could miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury, while Frazer Wright and Ryan O'Leary will continue to watch from the sidelines. However, James Dayton could make his first start after recovering from cruciate ligament damage. Striker Mehdi Taouil would love to see Killie win today to boost Kenny Shiels' chances of landing the manager's job with a full time contract. Mixu Paatelainen's number two Shiels stepped up when the Finn left to take over as manager of his national team. Shiels has made no secret of his desire to occupy the role on a permanent basis. The Irishman has yet to watch over his first win as caretaker manager. Taouil says all the players are keen to deliver the right result. He said: "I'm desperate to give Kenny his first win. He is such a professional guy, he really works hard and is a nice guy. We have three games to go and they are not the easiest games because teams are playing for the title. I thought we had a good game last Saturday and all the players are desperate to fight and earn a result for Kenny because he really deserves it.'' However, Shiels insists he will not be thinking about his first win, claiming: "It's not really on my mind. The team have lost two of the five games I've been in charge and they were two very difficult games against Dundee United and Celtic. Everyone asks me the question about the first win, but that becomes a monkey on the back. We can't look at it from that viewpoint. I don't even want to think about it. It's about the club and what we can do. If we don't win on Sunday, we look at Motherwell and try to win that game.'' Celtic manager Neil Lennon is looking to his players to show an improvement on their Tulloch Caledonian stadium debacle today. Lennon criticised his players for their lacklustre and "lazy'' display in the 3-2 defeat in Inverness on Wednesday night. The last time to sides met, last month, Celtic won 4-0 in impressive style and Lennon is looking for more of the same. He said: "It's a game we have to win. We want to play as well as we did two weeks ago and I will be looking for a big reaction from the players. Every time we have had a bad result this season we have bounced back really well so I am looking for a positive reaction on Sunday and I'm pretty sure I will get it.'' Lennon expects Emilio Izaguirre to return to form after the Honduran left-back turned in an uncharacteristically below-par performance in the Highlands. Lennon went on: "He picked the wrong night to have a poor game by his standards. But he was not alone. So I am not going to talk about individual performances. He has had a fantastic season, he still has a big contribution to make in the remaining three league games and the Scottish Cup final as well.'' Lennon will not be able to call on strikers Georgios Samaras and Anthony Stokes as they are suspended. Charlie Mulgrew and Mark Wilson are both doubts but defender Andreas Hinkel has been training for the last three weeks and might come into the squad following his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury picked up last August.