Kilmarnock V Hamilton at Rugby Park : Match Preview

04 November 2016
Kilmarnock V Hamilton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Jordan Jones can have bigger impact than free-scoring Coulibaly, says Clark

Lee Clark has seen Souleymane Coulibaly steal all the headlines this season, but reckons winger Jordan Jones can be just as big a threat for Kilmarnock as his star striker.

Coulibaly has already produced a number of goal-of-the-season contenders from his nine strikes this season.

But team-mate Jones has yet to find the net at all since making the summer move from Middlesbrough to Rugby Park.

However, boss Clark has been impressed by the sight of the 22-year-old tormenting a string of Ladbrokes Premiership defenders this season, with his fancy footwork leaving them in a spin.

And the Killie manager believes Jones can make just as big an impact as Coulibaly if he can add goals to his game.

He told Press Association Sport: "Jordan is our talisman. He is very direct and has pace that defenders are really frightened of. When he runs at people he is a big threat.

"He's come up against some good full-backs this season, but done really well. He kept Callum Paterson at Hearts really quiet and I don't think many others will manage that this season.

"We just need some consistency from Jordan because there is clearly talent there. We'd also like to add some goals too, because he is making opportunities for himself and, if we can get someone chipping in alongside Souleymane, we'll give ourselves a chance.

"Jordan wants to succeed. He is working hard and he has the potential to be just as important to us as Souleymane.

"Souleymane produces bits of magic that sometimes you can't even believe you've just witnessed. But Jordan over the course of a game can actually be more influential in terms of his end product.

"If he adds goals and can get himself seven, eight or nine a season, that would be him becoming a really big threat for us at the top end of the pitch."

Clark could do with Jones breaking his duck when his side welcome Hamilton to Ayrshire on Saturday.

Darian MacKinnon hopes to finally prove he is good enough for top-flight football when he chalks up his 150th appearance for Hamilton on Saturday.

The 31-year-old took the long route to the professional game, making his way to Accies via the muddy public parks of amateur football and the rough house of the junior ranks.

And the midfielder admits it took him time to convince everyone he had the skills to make it in the senior game.

However, with his latest milestone set to come at Rugby Park this weekend when Martin Canning's team take on Kilmarnock, he hopes those who wrote him off in the beginning will be good enough to admit he has proven his worth.

MacKinnon - who started off with Dumbarton amateur side St Patrick's Athletic before a move to junior outfit Clydebank eventually opened up his move to big time - said: "One hundred and fifty appearances is a good number and I'm proud of it.

"I never thought I'd reach that number of appearances, even when I was first signed here. Hopefully there is many more.

"I'm even more proud because of the route I've taken to get here. I've proved to myself I can play at this level.

"You have always got those doubts in your head but to get to 150 appearances is decent. There are a lot of good players who have never managed that.

"At the start, I'd be the easiest person to point fingers at. I'd hear people saying, 'He's come from amateur football, this is not his level'.

"But this is my third season in the Premiership and I think I've proved I can actually play a bit and not just kick people.

"I don't know what people think of me now but I know I do a job for the team. I may not be the easiest on the eye but I do my job."

MacKinnon's life could have easily gone off the rails as a teenager when he spent time in a young offenders centre after being convicted of assault.

But he is thankful former Accies bosses Billy Reid and Alex Neil were willing to take a chance on him and just as grateful that current Hamilton boss Canning has continued to believe in his abilities.

"When I first signed we were playing in the Championship and then that is when I realised I could cut it at this level," he said. "I remember going on loan to Ayr and coming back thinking I've got a chance.

"When Alex Neil took over I really started to believe in myself because he believed in me.

"It just kicked on from there. The new gaffer here has also shown he believes in me by playing me every week.

"You just need somebody to show that faith in you.

"I have to thank every one of the managers I've had. Billy gave me a chance when he started putting me in the team at the end of his time here. Alex played me every week and the current gaffer has done the same.

"You need that. It would be easy to discard people like me and say he's not good enough. Maybe some folk still think I'm not good enough but I must be doing right because I'm still here."

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