Kilmarnock V Rangers at Rugby Park : Match Preview

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


Lee Clark satisfied with Kilmarnock squad ahead of Rangers clash

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark felt he had to return to the transfer market in recent weeks to prevent his team finding themselves in more relegation danger.

Clark instigated a major overhaul of his playing squad immediately after they avoided Ladbrokes Premiership relegation last season with a play-off victory over Falkirk, making 11 signings, all young players from the English leagues.

But, after Killie failed to make the knockout stages of the Betfred Cup and lost their opening league game against Motherwell, and striker Josh Magennis was sold to Charlton, Clark decided he had to take action.

He has since brought in four more players with the latest, Dapo Kayode, arriving in time for Friday's visit of Rangers.

Clark said: "It's strange how it has worked out. I thought I had done my business by pre-season. One or two players haven't hit the ground running as soon as I would have liked. What I have to do as the custodian of the football side of things is make sure the club isn't in a precarious position towards the end of the season.

"So what I have had to do is get players that we feel can come in and do the job while the other lads try and develop and overcome the issues they've had since they signed.

"Also we have picked up one or two injuries, Miles Addison is going to miss six weeks with an ankle injury. So we only have two senior centre-backs in Jonathan Burn and Will Boyle.

"At this moment I don't plan on doing any more business in or out but I have experience of these windows and in the last four or five days it just goes crazy, so never say never."

Clark wants his young team to relish Friday's game.

"It's their future and what an opportunity - Rangers at Rugby Park, great atmosphere, live TV," the former Huddersfield boss said.

"When I was signing them and when I came here myself, these were the games I wanted to be involved in. I'm really looking forward to it and I hope they are. It's one we can embrace, one we want to win."

Joe Garner admits he had to grab his chance to join Rangers - because he feared he might not get another shot at the big time.

The former Preston frontman begged Deepdale boss Simon Grayson to allow him to speak to Gers last week.

And he was delighted when the Light Blues struck a B#1.5million deal with the Sky Bet Championship outfit to bring him north of the border.

The 28-year-old knows what it is like to shoulder the responsibility of playing for a major club having previously spent time with Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest.

But he confessed he was worried he would end up with regrets if he knocked back his Ibrox switch.

"I've played at massive clubs before like Nottingham Forest but I think Rangers is the biggest I've played for," said the former England youth international.

"I think it would be fair to say that, at 28, I had to grasp this opportunity because I wasn't sure if I'd get another like it.

"When I heard about the club's interest, it was something my family and I couldn't turn down.

"The club has sold 45,000 season tickets, so that says everything about the size of things here and I'm really looking forward to it."

Garner should make his debut against Kilmarnock, but his eye has already drifted down the fixture list to next month's Old Firm duel with Celtic.

"My phone has been ringing non-stop with people looking for tickets," he said. "They're a bit like gold dust though.

"The lads are already looking forward to the game. Obviously we've got Kilmarnock at the weekend first though.

"That's a massive game and we'll be looking to take three points first. But you can tell the city is already getting ready for the Old Firm game."


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