What can be said about Kilmarnock that hasn’t been said already? Steve Clarke’s men have been the surprise package yet again this campaign, with his side on course to bring European football to Ayrshire next season.
They turned in one of their best performances of the season at the weekend with an emphatic 5-0 victory over a poor Hamilton side.
Killie created some impressive stats against Accies. It was the first time they’ve scored five in a match since beating Partick Thistle 5-1 in December 2017 and they recorded their biggest win in the past 20 years.
It was a good day’s work for Clarke and his men. What may please him just as much is rivals Rangers and Aberdeen both falling to 2-1 defeats by Celtic and Hearts respectively.
The result that has to be of most significance is the Old Firm clash. It means Killie are just six points behind second place Rangers with one meeting between them to go.
They’ve constantly punched above their weight this season so why not do it again. The only way Killie should be looking is up and their sole focus should be catching Rangers in second.
The only way is up
The Rugby Park side are in pole position for third spot after the weekend’s action. They sit two points clear of the Dons in fourth and four ahead of Hearts in fifth. This isn’t a massive gap but Killie have showed time and time again they can perform when the heat is on.
Rangers are in their sights and the goal shouldn’t be to just finish in European spots. Sure that’s an amazing achievement but why not go for the jugular and try and get that runners-up place?
Steven Gerrard’s men will most likely travel to Rugby Park after the split. Killie will fancy their chances if this is the case, having beaten them at home in January. Rangers also have to deal with a four-game ban for top scorer Alfredo Morelos and a potential retrospective ban for influential winger Ryan Kent after he punched Scott Brown during the clash at Parkhead.
Factor this in with tough tests against Hearts and then a trip to Motherwell before the split, they have the ability to drop points. Killie face a tough test against Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday. A home tie in their next fixture against St Johnstone presents a good opportunity to gain three points though.
With Rangers facing a tough week, Killie have to go all out in search of two wins. If they really want to outdo themselves, six points from these two fixtures before the split is a must if they want to write themselves into the Killie history books.
If Kilmarnock play as well as they did against Accies during the remaining seven games, they have every chance of gaining second place. Rangers have stumbled against their city rivals and it presents Killie with a chance to sneak up on them.
You would be a fool to think you can write Steve Clarke’s men out of the race for second place.