It’s very easy to become a downhearted Kilmarnock fan just now. The club have endured a torrid winter window. Two of their main stars, Jordan Jones and Greg Stewart, have agreed deals to leave the club in controversial circumstances.
It’s easy pickings to lambast the winter window and the lack of signings, plus the departures from Rugby Park.
These negatives should not cloud over the many positives that remain in Ayrshire.
Killie are motoring
At the time of writing, Killie are only a point off the top, and it’s the middle of January. When you think about how bad the club were just a couple of years ago, it’s quite incredible they are this close to the Premiership summit. Clarke has got this Killie side firing at both ends of the park, with the Ayrshire men boasting the best goal difference outside of Celtic and Rangers.
Sure, Jordan Jones and Greg Stewart will be missed, but they haven’t been the star performers this season. If the likes of Alan Power, Stuart Findlay and Eamonn Brophy had left, then Clarke would have a problem. Findlay has been the rock at the back, Power the driving force in the middle for Kilmarnock, and Brophy has eight goals from 12 starts.
Whilst Stewart has gone, The Rangers bound winger Jones is still at Rugby Park for the time being, and when Clarke selects him for action, the fans must unite and support the wide man. At the end of the day, he is a Killie player just now.
Stewart’s replacement may already be at the club, in the form of Greg Kiltie. The winger has made plenty of cameo appearances since his breakout season in 2015. He provides a spark and some drive going forward, and he has the ability to become a great winger for Ayrshire’s finest.
The biggest positive? Steve Clarke is Kilmarnock boss. He’s sparked a monumental shift in attitude in Ayrshire, turning fans from relegation pessimists to genuine believers in European football. Some even believe Clarke can push Celtic and Rangers all the way for the title. Football at Rugby Park is a joy to watch now, and it’s all thanks to Clarke.
There you have it. They have took hits this month, but Killie are in great shape. No player is bigger than the club, and no player will overshadow how well Kilmarnock have done so far this season.