Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock remain undefeated in the league against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers thanks to claiming a valuable point away at Ibrox.
They appear to have found the perfect time to end a horrendous run of form, securing back-to-back top six finishes. It is the first time they’ve done so since the 2006-07 season, 12 years ago.
Superb on Saturday
Steve Clarke’s team got back to winning ways in Paisley at one of his former clubs St Mirren. Prior to the late victory over the Buddies, Killie hadn’t won in eight games. They further resurrected their best under Clarke with a point against Rangers at Ibrox.
Gary Dicker’s performance will go unnoticed, often the first call at any danger Killie faced. On top of providing the assist for the goal, his positioning was outstanding. Along with Alan Power and Youssouf Mulumbu in the middle of the park, the trio restricted the hosts to fewer opportunities than in their last clash.
The last time Killie were at Ibrox, they shipped five goals. It was a Scottish Cup replay with Rangers in Govan as they crashed out. Conor McAleny, replacing the injured Eamonn Brophy, would net Killie’s opener on Saturday before they were pegged back by an Alfredo Morelos equaliser.
The Colombian, up to nine goals against Killie this season, netted four of the five in that Scottish Cup tie along with a hat-trick in Ayrshire in the League Cup, so has proved to be a nuisance for Clarke’s team this term. As have Gerrard’s Rangers, who as mentioned, knocked Clarke’s Killie out of both cup competitions this season.
Therefore Killie have had the luxury on focusing on league games where the likes of Aberdeen and Hearts haven’t. It was of vital importance they picked up something in western Glasgow as they remain hot on the heels of the Dons and four points clear of Hearts.
Two bottom six sides (Hamilton and St Johnstone at home) take up Killie’s last three pre-split fixtures, with their other test being a trip to the capital to take on Hibernian at Easter Road.
Who’s to say they can’t go on and better last season’s fifth placed finish?