Shiels backs Butcher tactics

PA Sport
Kenny Shiels insists Kilmarnock will not be up to speed until September
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Kenny Shiels insists Kilmarnock will not be up to speed until September

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels backs the way Terry Butcher uses geography to gee up his Inverness side.

The Rugby Park men make the long trip to the Highlands on Clydesdale Bank Premier League duty this Saturday, a journey that few teams in the central belt enjoy.

Caley are aware of the gripes and last year, after a defeat at Ibrox, Butcher said: "We do feel that we are not wanted in the SPL because we are up there, out of the way," and the former Motherwell manager has since said that the promotion of Highland rivals Ross County to the SPL "would certainly get up the noses of people in the central belt".

Shiels believes his Inverness counterpart has to use everything at his disposal to get as much as possible from his team.

"Inverness have great spirit and the players are committed to their manager," the Northern Irishman told Press Association Sport.

"We know it is going to be a tough game and they have motivational tools, like saying `the central belt doesn't like us and they don't want us to be in the league'. I agree with him, I am not being critical, I am saying that is great that he does that and so he should. He wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't.

"It is never an easy place to go, everybody keeps saying that. They get into you and make life difficult. They are good games against Inverness and hopefully we will get a good crowd on Saturday."

Shiels believes his side are gradually getting up to speed following their goalless draw against SPL new boys Dundee at home in their league opener last week.

He said: "Last week's game was typical of two teams who weren't ready for it. It favoured them because it was so early in the season. We have sharpened things up since then but like most of the teams in the SPL we won't be up to speed until September."

Shiels will not have Spanish target Borja Perez signed in time for the game. The 30-year-old former Real Madrid youth player featured in James Fowler's testimonial game against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek but the Killie boss said: "Things are ongoing with that. It is at the early stages. He is not going to be signed for tomorrow."

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