Steve Clarke believes the other teams in Scotland’s top-flight’s attitude towards Kilmarnock has changed, due to where they are in the league.
The former Chelsea coach watched his side play out a 1-1 draw with Hamilton on Saturday, before Killie beat their Lanarkshire rivals Motherwell 1-0 on Boxing Day. Mickel Miller’s penalty earned Accies a share of the spoils after Eamonn Brophy gave his side the lead. Killie are now third in the Premiership, four points off leaders Celtic.
Clarke believes results like this have happened because of a change in attitude towards his side.
“I think everybody’s perception of us has changed, Clarke said to BBC Sport Scotland.
“I’ve said to the players over the next few games they’re going to have to be aware of that, people are starting to treat us a little bit differently,” Clarke added.
Hamilton know how to hold Killie
This fixture seemed a foregone conclusion at the start of the game. Hamilton hadn’t won in three fixtures, and minus the Celtic Park display, Kilmarnock were on fine form. Martin Canning’s side showed once again, that they have the remedy to Kilmarnock’s style of play.
Accies didn’t allow Killie time on the ball, and made it a scrappy contest. Kilmarnock like to play free-flowing football, so this didn’t suit Clarke’s side.
This Hamilton performance can be used as a template for how to perform against Kilmarnock. You can’t sit off them and allow them to play, they will cut right through you. Instead you press them into mistakes,and from that, chances will open up to you.
It was an ugly game, but that’s how Accies like it. Kilmarnock couldn’t put their trademark style on the game, and because of this, they weren’t able to break Accies down. The speed of the game was brilliant, the lack of quality made the contest a horrible watch.