Shiels: No Killie advantage

Kenny Shiels does not believe his Kilmarnock side will have any
added advantage against Dundee United on Saturday.

Peter Houston’s decision to leave Dundee United at the end of
the season was announced on Thursday, ahead of the Taysiders’ visit
to Rugby Park in the SPL.

Houston had been in talks with the Tannadice side over a new
deal, but at a joint press conference with chairman Stephen
Thompson, he revealed he has decided against extending his contract
on reduced terms.

Speculation began immediately with regards who would succeed the
former Scotland assistant, with ex-United skipper Derek McInnes,
who recently departed Bristol City, installed as favourite by one
bookmaker.

Killie boss Shiels, though, insists the United players are too
professional to be affected and will also be playing to impress
their future boss, whomever it may be, when the Scottish Premier
League resumes after the winter break.

He said: “I think Peter has done magnificent there, but it won’t
affect the players because they have quality players right through
the team.

“So I can’t see it having an adverse impact on the team, they
are too professional.

“I can see it having a type of ‘let’s play for our places
because there could be a new manager who comes in who might not
like us’.

“Dundee United played really well against us at Tannadice in the
last game when it was 3-3.

“We were 2-0 up and 3-1, but they came back and got a goal at
the end of the game and thoroughly deserved it.

“They have a fantastic team and great players.”

Shiels may have more to be concerned about with his own squad
after losing three players, with the threat of more to follow.

Stopper Michael Nelson completed his switch to Bradford on
Wednesday, midfielder Liam Kelly joined Bristol City last week,
while striker Rory Boulding has left the club.

“You obviously have to cut your cloth and I’m not going to
complain,” said Shiels.

“We might be affected the most but we can’t start crying because
it sends out negative energy, and we don’t want that to happen.

“They are massive losses but there is an opportunity for others
to step up. We have good people to come in.

“I am motivated towards getting young boys in to help develop
their careers and the club accordingly. That’s the motivation I
have.

“There could be more players leaving. I have no problems with
that. If a player wants to leave he can.

“But hopefully this is a good enough place for people not to
want that.”