Kilmarnock captain Kris Boyd insists the club can finish in the top six again this season – but he has cautioned that simply staying in the Ladbrokes Premiership is the priority.
The Rugby Park club were a breath of fresh air under Steve Clarke last term. His organised approach helped the 2012 Scottish League Cup winners to a fifth-place finish – their best in over a decade.
They’ve kept the bulk of their squad together over the close season – Youssouf Mulumbu is the only significant loss – and have strengthened too.
Ross Millen, Stuart Findlay, Mikael Ndjoli and Calum Waters have all arrived in East Ayrshire.
Skipper Boyd knows they have the quality to impress again but he acknowledges they will be a target for other sides in the new campaign.
He said: “There is no doubt the first priority is to get safe first and then look higher.”
“We only have to look at Partick Thistle who finished in the top six two seasons ago and they’re now in the Championship.”
“So for us, we want to get away from the bottom early and then have an opportunity to fight for that last spot in the top six. When you look at five of the top six from last season they should be there every season so there is one space left.”
When asked about whether the club had overachieved last season, the 34-year-old had this to say: “Probably. But there is nothing to suggest we can’t do the same again.”
“I think Aberdeen were the only team in the league we didn’t beat last year so we know we can match the other teams.”
Boyd, who was Ladbrokes Premiership top scorer last season, already has four goals in the bag from the League Cup campaign.
The veteran striker, who netted 18 times in the league, is 10/1 to repeat the feat this season.
Reflecting on his own goalscoring exploits, he said: “It’s always important to get off the mark early and the good thing is that all four strikers have found the net already.”
“We are looking forward to the opener against St Johnstone and we are hoping we can get off to a good start.”
Do you fancy Killie’s chances? You can back them at 21/20 to open up with a win against St Johnstone on Saturday.
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