Shiels hails Buddies' approach

PA Sport
Kenny Shiels
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Kenny Shiels

Kenny Shiels will see one of his favourite teams in action when he takes his Kilmarnock side to Paisley on Saturday to play St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The Killie boss is a self-confessed fan of the way the Buddies play the game, with the emphasis on passing, although he is hoping they are not at their best at New St Mirren Park.

Shiels told Press Association Sport: "I watched St Mirren against Hearts the other week and I couldn't believe how good they were. Every time I have watched them they have played well, they are just not getting the breaks at the moment and I am hoping that continues to be honest against us."

He added: "But I enjoy going to watch them and I watch them a lot because I like their style. I also watch Falkirk, Hamilton and Livingston as well, those are good teams to watch.

"Football is about having an enjoyable game and watching the patterns that exist within the game and I think I have seen that with St Mirren this season.

"They push their full-backs forward, they have a deep-sitting midfield player and they try to pass through teams. I think they are very brave in how they play, it is good to see and it is a good product that they have."

Kilmarnock, still basking in the glory of their Scottish Communities League Cup final win over Celtic a fortnight ago, are in seventh place in the SPL table but Shiels harbours "skeleton-thin" hopes of a top-half finish.

The Northern Irishman said: "Hearts are only one point from (clinching) sixth so realistically we are not going to make it but you never know. If there is still an opportunity after the weekend then it will be all systems go but failing that we will try to stay in seventh which will be a monumental achievement.

"Finishing as high as we can matters to the club and it matters to the players' pride and if you had said to me at the end of March that we would be 17 points clear of relegation....that is a fantastic achievement.

"Having five teams below you at this moment, including two big city teams in Aberdeen and Hibs, is great. Unbelievable."

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