Kilmarnock V Motherwell at Rugby Park : Match Preview

05 August 2016
Kilmarnock V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Lee Clark upbeat about Premiership campaign despite Kilmarnock's cup exit

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark believes the Betfred Cup campaign could help his team start well in the Ladbrokes Premiership - but he has urged his players to forget about the tournament quickly.

Killie crashed out of the competition last weekend following a goalless encounter with Albion Rovers at Rugby Park, seven days after Morton won 2-0 in Ayrshire.

Narrow wins at Clyde and Berwick did little to aid confidence after last season's relegation battle, but Clark's 11 summer signings have had their first taste of Scottish football and the Killie boss is upbeat ahead of Saturday's visit of Motherwell.

"We're very positive," Clark said. "It's always exciting, the start of a league campaign, and this is no different.

"There's no making up to do. It's about us being professional. The past has gone, we cannot affect it. We can affect the future and that's what we are looking to do. It's about getting our game head on.

"I haven't changed my tune in that the cups were very important to us and I would have loved to have progressed, and that hasn't happened.

"But the league will always be the priority, certainly with what has happened over the last few years. We have to make sure we don't put ourselves in that sort of scenario."

Kilmarnock are understood to have received a B#100,000 bid from Charlton for striker Josh Magennis, though it is unknown if it will prevent the striker being involved on Saturday.

Winger Greg Kiltie is back in training after missing the cup tie against Albion Rovers with an ankle injury while Will Boyle has overcome the knock he suffered against the Coatbridge side to rejoin the squad.

Motherwell right-back Richard Tait will make his Premiership debut at Kilmarnock and will utilise all the available experience around him.

Tait arrived from Grimsby in the summer and the Galashiels-born defender has impressed in Betfred Cup action.

The 26-year-old and fellow newcomer Ben Heneghan have slotted into the back four alongside former Scotland internationals Stephen McManus and Steven Hammell and Tait is determined to learn from his senior colleagues.

The former Tamworth and Cambridge player said: "For me and Ben, anything Mick (McManus) and Hammy say to us, we are going to take it in and use it. It's great to play with players who are that experienced and we can only learn from it."

He added: "You want to play against the best teams week in, week out, and being in the top flight in Scotland I am going to do that. I have never played in Scotland previously even though I'm from here.

"When the opportunity arose to come to Motherwell and play in the top-flight, it was one I was going to take with two hands."

Another former Scotland player, James McFadden, is also among Tait's team-mate,s although he will be focused on his new role as assistant manager at Rugby Park as he builds up his fitness following a broken ankle.

Scott McDonald is fit after coming off against Stranraer last weekend with a tight thigh but fellow striker Louis Moult is out following groin surgery.

Summer signing Jacob Blyth is still building up his fitness after some pre-season setbacks while skipper Keith Lasley is suspended.

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