12 Feb Steve Clarke wants big Kilmarnock backing for Scottish Cup clash at Aberdeen
Boss Steve Clarke has called for a decent kick-off time to allow as many Kilmarnock fans as possible to travel to Aberdeen for their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final encounter next month.
Three of the four ties over the weekend of March 3/4 will be televised live with the possibility of a lunchtime kick-off at Pittodrie should that game be chosen.
The other all-Ladbrokes Premiership tie is between Motherwell and Hearts while holders Celtic host Championship side Morton with Rangers at home to Falkirk, also from the second tier.
Clarke noted that the Dons have beaten his side home and away in the Ladbrokes Premiership since he took over at the Ayrshire club and is looking to negate the home advantage as much as possible in the cup.
Ahead of the home Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Dundee on Tuesday night, he said: “It will be a tough game.
“Probably not a lot of people outside Kilmarnock will expect us to go there and win.
“My one concern about the cup game is that we get a decent kick-off time, a kick-off time that allows our supporters to go in large numbers and give the team the backing they deserve.
“The Kilmarnock supporters have shown since I came here anyway that they are prepared to travel in numbers to support the team and I am sure the trip to Aberdeen will be no different.
“The two (league) games are in the past, I will be able to use those games hopefully to come up with a solution to beat Aberdeen but before then is four very important league games.”
Killie, on the back of six successive home wins, could move into the top-six with victory against the Taysiders, who are four points behind.
While the Ayrshire side sit nine points ahead of bottom side Ross County and six ahead of second-bottom Hamilton albeit with three games in hand over County and one over Accies, the former West Brom boss is focused on staying safe.
He said: “It is a chance to get further away from the bottom, that’s the way I look at it, not at the top six.
“It is getting the distance between 12th and 11th, and getting as far away from them as possible as quickly as we can.
“You have to look behind. Dundee will be looking at the game as an opportunity to close the gap on us so we have to be on our guard and approach the games the way we have approached all the games recently, take the good form into those games and keep picking up points.
“This is a very important game for the club. Three points would be a massive boost to our chances of staying in the Premiership and that’s what we have to focus on.”