I don’t know what to expect from new-look Ross County, says Killie boss

Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke is wary but not fearful of the prospect of a new manager bounce at Ross County.

The Ladbrokes Premiership’s bottom side travel to Rugby Park on Saturday having appointing development squad coach Stuart Kettlewell as the club’s new boss following the departure of Owen Coyle.

Coincidentally, Clarke took over at Killie from Lee McCulloch following a 2-0 home defeat by County in September – Coyle’s first game as boss of the Staggies after replacing Jim McIntyre – and has turned the club’s fortunes around and boasts 10 wins and five draws from their last 16 matches.

The former West Brom boss has taken Killie into fifth place and was named Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month for February, his second successive award.

Clarke, who revealed winger Jordan Jones will miss Saturday’s game with the hamstring injury which makes him a huge doubt for the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Aberdeen on Tuesday night, said: “I think they had changed their manager they came to Rugby Park and won 2-0, when Owen Coyle took over.

“So we have to be wary of it.

“We don’t have to fear the fact that it is a new management team, we have to concentrate on ourselves and try to get a positive result.

“I don’t know a lot about the new management team. I don’t know what type of team we will face tomorrow.

“Obviously I know their players, but I don’t know what type of team they will line up to play against us.

“In that way, it is a little bit unknown but we will concentrate on ourselves and try to maintain  the standards we have had recently and try to get another positive result for the football club.”

County’s last visit to Rugby Park was in the Scottish Cup tie in January where the home side got through with a late Lee Erwin penalty.

However, Clarke places little significance on what he described as a “poor game”.

“It’s not a game that lingers long in the memory,” he said.

“Neither team was up to full speed after the winter break. They were probably disappointed they didn’t get the chance to take us back up to Dingwall, but we were delighted with the late penalty and it was nice to go through the tie.

“I don’t think that game will have any bearing on this game because Ross County have obviously changed their manager.

“It used to be you got a bit more time to turn things round but the pressure of the modern game now is that people get the sack more often.

“It is unfortunate but it’s part of the job.”

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