in #KillieStories November 9, 2018
Steve Clarke is looking forward to the atmosphere at Tynecastle as Killie face league leaders Hearts this weekend.
The Killie boss enjoys the noise and passion generated in Gorgie and believes it is one of Scottish football's great venues.
He said: "I think it will be a really difficult game. You get a really volatile atmosphere through there at Tynecastle, the crowd shouts for every decision.
"But we have a good referee this weekend, so there's no problems with that one.
"It can be an intimidating place to go or it can be a great place to go in front of a passionate football crowd. We’ll take a decent away crowd too.
"Our recent away performances have been OK so we look forward to what should be a decent game between two teams in the top four. I don't think too many people back at the start of the season would have been expecting that to be the situation in the middle of November."
"And it does make a difference to your team. That's when you need your squad players to step up and the Hearts boys have done that."
The Rugby Park boss welcomed the news that Jamie MacDonald has been called up to the Scotland squad for our UEFA Nations League double-header with Albania and Israel.
“It’s a good reward for Jamie who has shown a great level of consistency since I came to the club. I’m delighted for him.
“He’s a model professional who works well every day in training, he’s good in the group and the dressing room and uses his experience well. It’s a nice little boost for him at this stage of his career.”
Craig Levein's team are currently one point ahead of Celtic in the Premiership table and Clarke has been impressed with how the men in maroon have coped with injuries to key players such as Christophe Berra, Steven Naismith and Uche Ikpeazu.
He added: "They are top of the league having had so many injuries, so that shows the strength of their squad.
"I think they've coped with it really, really well. To lose key strikers is really difficult. We've had something similar losing Eamonn Brophy and Greg Stewart for a couple of games.