KILMARNOCK goalkeeper Craig Samson has urged young midfielder Craig Slater to use his brain in future after ruling himself out of tonight’s hosting of Celtic with a senseless sending-off in the New Year’s Day win over St Mirren.
Everyone knows that it is an automatic yellow card for leaving the field of play without permission and Slater did that by celebrating with the Killie fans having slotted the penalty which ultimately secured a 2-1 victory.
Having been cautioned earlier for a foul on John McGinn, he was sent off by Willie Collum. It hardly aids Killie’s cause as they seek their first home win over Celtic for five years.
Samson said: “I’m not going to stand here and back him up. I said to him in the shower that it was probably the silliest thing I’ve ever seen in all my time in football.
“We’re already missing Jamie Hamill and Sammy Clingan from centre midfield and now Craig’s out of the Celtic game for jumping over an advertising board!
“Sometimes you get carried away, we all know that. Plus, he used to play at St Mirren and often boys go back to their old clubs thinking they have something to prove.
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“Slates has been fantastic for us, a top player with a great future in the game – but I tell you what, he’ll learn from this. One second he’s scoring a great penalty, the next he’s jumping over a barrier and getting sent off and that’s not something he’ll want to do again.
“He forgot he’d been booked. He’s just thick, put it that way. I said that to him and he just said: ‘If you’re thick you’re thick, Sammy’. He couldn’t be more honest than that!
“We watched him running over there and knew he was going to get sent off. It’s a disappointing one and I know the manager’s not happy. It’s another top player missing for a really big game.” Slater’s daftness aside, Killie go into the live TV clash on the back of two consecutive victories following an horrendous run of eight matches in which they collected just one point.
Samson said: “We’re going into the Celtic game feeling massively better than we would have a few weeks ago.We went up to Aberdeen and played really well even though we didn’t get the result. Then for Alexei Eremenko to get the last-minute winner against Hamilton was brilliant.
“That sends you into training feeling better, the place is buzzing all week and you got to Paisley and get another win.
“It’s all about momentum, the monkey is off your back and you’re not worrying about where the next point’s coming from.
“They’ll be a wee bit fresher with their game being called off on New Year’s Day and they’ll also be up for it even more because they’re off the top – all credit to Aberdeen and obviously Dundee United for staying on their tails.It’s a huge one for us and we’re really looking forward to it.”
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