Kilmarnock skipper Manuel Pascali claims that, nowadays, all he and his back-four colleagues must do to guarantee a win is to stop opponents from scoring – because Kris Boyd will do the damage at the other end.
Allan Johnston’s side have won four of their last six games to climb up to eighth place and the former Rangers striker has scored six goals in that time.
His spectacular return to international form has even had the Italian comparing the Scotland striker to World Cup winner Ronaldo.
A three-times World Player of the Year, Ronaldo notched twice when Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the 2002 final and scored more goals at World Cup finals than any other player.
Pascali worshipped him as he led his beloved Inter Milan to UEFA Cup glory in 1998 and claims that Boyd now has just as much influence on Killie’s team. The Italian said: “I told him after his winner on Thursday that we look a little bit like Inter Milan when Ronaldo was there.
“We know that if we can keep a clean sheet or concede just the one goal that we are capable of scoring at any time.
“In fact, right now we believe that we are going to score in every match and Boydie does too.”
Aberdeen visit Rugby Park this afternoon. Another home win will match Killie’s total for the whole of 2012/13 and Pascali claims that it would transform their season.
“It will be tough for us against Aberdeen because they are a very good team,” he said.
“It’s going to be a battle and they have an advantage because they have been able to rest their players for a day longer than us.
“When you play four or five games in 12 days then players my age start to struggle a little bit. The good thing is that, after a win, you don’t feel any pain so I’ll be ready to play again.
“You can guarantee that we will be up for that match and, if we win, it could change our whole season. It has been hectic but we will have a week off afterwards.”
Pascali has kept out summer signing Darren Barr in the heart of Killie’s rearguard and the 32-year-old confessed that it took time for it to sink in that his days as a midfielder were over.
“I feel great at the moment,” he said. “I’ve played at the back in previous seasons but at that time my preference was to be in midfield.
“Now, though, I’ve realised that I can give more to the team by being in the defence. Lee Ashcroft and I are happy to play together and it looks as though we’ve been playing together for years. He is a great prospect and a good partner to have. I am enjoying the position now and it has helped that we haven’t had injuries. It is important to play the same back four every week because you need to develop a relationship with each other, but it looks now as though we are on the right road.”