Shiels pays tribute to Kelly

Sun, 25 Mar 09:35:02 2012

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels dedicated their 2-0 victory over Motherwell to grieving midfielder Liam Kelly after an emotional afternoon at Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock's players warmed up with t-shirts emblazoned with the message: 'We are all with you', as Kelly mourns the death of his father, who collapsed at Hampden moments after watching his son win the Scottish Communities League Cup against Celtic last Sunday.

There were mixed emotions throughout the day with injured captain Manuel Pascali parading the trophy to acclaim from both sets of fans before a minute's silence was held for Jack Kelly. Paul Heffernan's second-half double allowed an outpouring of emotion and the players returned to the Rugby Park pitch after the game for a lap of honour.

The tragic post-match events had cut short such celebrations last week and Shiels admitted it had been a difficult to prepare for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League game, right up to his team talk.

"We are trying to put that away but there was mention," he said. "It wasn't elaborated on.

"I just asked them to show their respect for Motherwell and their respect for Liam because we have lost one of our family.

"It is a family club which bonds so closely with the community and that's what we use as much as we can. Liam is very high in our thoughts. You could say we did it for Liam."

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall apologised to his team's fans after a display devoid of imagination. The Lanarkshire side dominated possession in the opening quarter but lacked a spark up front and were flat thereafter.

"They far and away deserved it," McCall said.

"We started okay but without a doubt we were really poor throughout the team. Apologies to the big support we had down, we just didn't turn up. It was a really disappointing performance, we didn't even have a shot in anger."

 

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