LIAM DONNELLY says that Kilmarnock’s confidence has not been dented by back-to-back defeats to Rangers and Celtic respectively, and that the Rugby Park players are relishing the opportunity to show the real Killie when they head to Ross County next week.
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes said after the 5-0 thumping at the hands of Celtic on Sunday that his team’s season starts now, and those thoughts were echoed by former Motherwell midfielder Donnelly, who admits it was not enjoyable simply trying to keep the score down against the champions.
He doesn’t believe the defeat will affect morale though, and is hoping that he and his teammates can impose their own game on the opposition going forward.
“Sunday was not fun,” Donnelly said. “We know that Celtic are quality and it is difficult to play against them.
“We conceded a few shoddy goals which doesn’t help things and we have to try and cut them out of our game. It was a difficult afternoon.
“The manager said to us in the changing room afterwards that the season starts now.
“It’s still difficult to take the Celtic result with the way we conceded the goals, but it is the Old Firm and the games coming up are certainly a lot more winnable.
“We have to be confident going into the next few games. As I said, it is not easy playing against the Old Firm. We’ve had two weeks which have been as much about keeping the opposition out as thinking about our own game.
“But the next fixtures should be a bit more of a chance for us to impose our own style onto matches and play some of our own game. With that in mind, we have to try and get a few results.
“Of course, we are going to be hurting with Sunday's result and it is going to be frustrating for the fans to watch at times as well. But, look, confidence is not dented. We have a big game against Ross County on Saturday and that’s the beginning of a run of fixtures where, hopefully, we will be able to get a few wins.
“Hopefully, with the opposition that we will be playing in the coming weeks, we’ll be able to impose ourselves a bit more.
“But we won’t take anything for granted as we know that every game in this league is a difficult one and that begins with Ross County.
“So we know we are going to have to be on it if we are to go there and get the three points.”