Dicker claims pressure is all on Aberdeen

Kilmarnock midfielder Gary Dicker claims Tuesday’s replay against Aberdeen is a “bonus” for his team while the Dons need to win to keep their season alive.

Killie have exceeded all expectations since Steve Clarke took over as manager in October, losing just three times since, and Dicker feels they will play with freedom at Rugby Park.

Two of those defeats came against Aberdeen but a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie gives Killie hope of securing a William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Motherwell when they face the Dons again.

Killie moved eight points above Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday with victory over Ross County to all but secure their top-six status with four matches to the split.

Aberdeen sit in third place but Dicker claims their season now rests on the cup.

“It is a massive game for us but the pressure is probably on them,” the Irishman said.

“They are one of the best teams the last few years in the league, they were in two cup finals last year and finished second.

“They have been the only team right behind Celtic so we are not going to believe all the hype and think they are on a bit of a downer.

“They are expected to get there whereas for us it’s a bonus. Our aim was to stay in the league, let’s not butter it up any other way. Our objective was to stay in the league after the start we had. Anything after that is a bonus.

“I said a few weeks ago, people were talking about top six but we still had a chance of being dragged down because of the start we had. So it’s a bonus game for us, a one-off.

“Nobody expected us to get this far, nobody even expected us to get something up there. When the draw came people probably thought our chance was gone.

“We are looking forward to it but they probably need to win to keep their season alive to be honest.”

Killie are unbeaten in nine games since they lost at Pittodrie on league duty and Dicker feels their resilience has grown and grown.

“I think everyone has been waiting for us to trip up to jump all over us again but we have kept it going, even when we have been down and out in games we have come back, and that probably hasn’t happened over the last few years,” the 31-year-old said.

“We are always in the game and that is a massive thing. Even up there, we went 1-0 down quite early on but you always get that feeling you can get back in the game.

“That’s credit to the lads, the manager, and Alex (Dyer), the assistant. But it’s every day that’s like that, it’s training we are getting that from.”

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