KRIS Boyd has declared himself hungry to make up for lost time as he looks to resurrect his career at his first club Kilmarnock.
Boyd could make his return to the Kilmarnock side in tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hibernian at Easter Road after re-signing for the Ayrshire club on Saturday.
The 29-year-old has not played since September, when he made his last appearance for Portland Timbers in the MLS.Boyd previously had an unhappy spell in Turkey with Eskise-hirspor, walking out on the club over their failure to pay his wages.
The former Rangers striker, who scored 12 goals for Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest in his one season in England, was eager to be closer to his family and jumped at the chance to sign for the club where he scored 67 goals in his formative years.
And Boyd, who has often been criticised over his effort despite his proven goalscoring record, reiterated throughout his media unveiling yesterday that he appreciated how hard he needed to work to return to form.
Boyd, who is the SPL’s all-time top scorer with 164 goals, said: “I feel as if, apart from maybe the first four or five months that I had in America, it’s been two years probably wasted in terms of football. But I am ready to get back at it and play and this is a great opportunity to do that.
“You learn a lot of things as you grow older. It’s part and parcel of football. There have been difficult moments but that’s in the past now.”
Boyd added: “I felt as if I need to go back to basics and start again.
“Kilmarnock gave me the opportunity to do that and it’s a great opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what you’ve got and get your head down, work hard and get games. But nobody is just going to turn round and give me them.
“I need to work hard in training to get myself in the team and hopefully between now and the end of the season I can do that and start scoring goals on a regular basis again.”
Boyd faces competition from Paul Heffernan, who took his recent tally to six goals in five games when he netted in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, along with fit-again Cillian Sheridan and young forwards William Gros and Rory McKenzie. “There is competition,” he said. “That’s a good headache for the manager to have. There are options there but I’m hungry and ready for the challenge. I have faced many a challenge in my career and this is another one.
“But I’m up for it and ready to get about it and hopefully get back playing football on a regular basis.”
Boyd last played for Scotland in the 2-1 win over Liechtenstein in September 2010, but his prospects were given a lift when Gordon Strachan, the manager who signed him for Middlesbrough, replaced Craig Levein.
Boyd harbours ambitions of re-igniting his international career but his immediate targets are more simple.
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind but the most important thing for me right now is to get back playing football and get in the Kilmarnock team,” he said. “That’s what I need to do between now and the end of the season. Whatever happens after that happens but right now the most important thing is to get in the Kilmarnock team.”
Easter Road tomorrow night is his first target but there is no certainty he will be involved. “I have trained for the last two or three months but I have not played a lot of football,” he said. “My last 90 minutes was August and I had 10-15 minutes in September. I know that’s not enough.
“I know myself I need to get games, that’s the only way I am going to get my match sharpness. I need to get back playing as soon as possible and hopefully Wednesday I’ll be available but it’s up to me to get myself in the team and score goals to stay there.”