in #KillieStories March 16, 2018
Steve Clarke believes his side has improved since his dramatic debut draw against Rangers in October.
Killie have risen to fifth in the table during Clarke's tenure, which started in Govan with Chris Burke's injury-time equaliser following a penalty save from Jamie MacDonald.
That result prompted the end for Pedro Caixinha's Rangers reign with the Killie boss full of praise for his replacement Graeme Murty.
Reflecting on the development of both sides since the season's first meeting, Clarke said: "I think both teams have grown since then.
"Rangers made a change that night, Kilmarnock had obviously made a change just before that and I think both teams have improved a lot since that first game so it’ll be interesting to see what the outcome is on the pitch.
"We’ll see whether we’ve improved at the same rate or whether one is faster than the other."
Saturday is Killie's final fixture before the international break, bringing an end to a hectic period of fixtures.
However Clarke doesn't expect his side to be fatigued when they make the trip to Glasgow.
He added: "I think the game on Tuesday was particularly tough because we had played three games – Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday – in a very short space of time with little recovery.
"Going into this game we’ve got the six games in our legs but we’ve had the extra day to recover with Wednesday through to the Saturday morning so that’s fine. Physically the players will be good on Saturday because we had that extra day to recover."It’s a tough schedule but the boys are working their way through it."
Over 7,500 Killie fans turned out on Tuesday to roar on their side and Clarke is pleased with the backing his team has received since his arrival.
He said: "I think historically Kilmarnock have always had a good crowd but you have to excite them. You have to give them a reason to come here to Rugby Park. I think since October the feeling around the club has grown and there’s a good connection now between the club, the supporters and the team."They can see the players are giving everything for the club game in, game out. They want to see their team competing in every game and you saw on Tuesday night that when they have a team to support, the Kilmarnock fans will come out and support them.
"What we hope to do is to continue that, get bigger crowds for the league games and keep the supporters here and slowly get a bigger fan base coming week in, week out to back the players."