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.”