Josh Magennis ‘unaffected’ by alleged racist abuse at Tynecastle

Magennis, left, claims he was targeted by a racist remark during Saturday's game. Picture: SNS
Magennis, left, claims he was targeted by a racist remark during Saturday's game. Picture: SNS
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Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark insists striker Josh Magennis has not been affected by the abuse he allegedly received at Tynecastle on Saturday.

Police Scotland are investigating the Northern Irishman’s complaint that he was the target of a “racist” remark from the Hearts end during the 1-0 defeat to the Jambos in Gorgie.

Hearts have said they will back police action to weed out the culprit - whose comment made reference to Magennis being Irish but not his colour, religion or sexuality - but Clark is pleased to see his player put the incident behind him as he focuses on Tuesday night’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash at home to Ross County.

The former Blackpool boss said: “Josh is great. He trained well yesterday and was in a positive mood. I had a one-to-one with him to debrief him on his performance.

“I didn’t get involved in the off the field stuff - that’s a police matter.

“It’s being dealt with. Josh is dealing with it in the right way. Both clubs have dealt with it in the right way. It’s on-going now so I just move on in terms of the football.

“I spoke to him about what we thought he had done well in the Hearts game and what we thought we could help him with to do better.

“Josh has handled the incident like an adult should. It didn’t affect him during the game. He carried on being professional. There is no issue.”

Clark is still getting to grips with his new post at Rugby Park but has not been slow to implement his new ideas.

The Killie squad will train late on Monday evening after Clark announced to his squad that from now on, they will begin their build-up work at the same time of their next game after scrapping their usual morning workouts.

The radical thinking is borrowed from Clark’s former Fulham boss Jean Tigana and he said: “I ain’t doing it as a gimmick. It is something I have believed in for a long time and has worked for me personally as a footballer.

“I understand it can help. It is trying to get that little bit of edge. It’s nothing to do with me trying to be different to anybody else. It’s what I think can help and the players have bought into it.

“The game is about fine margins. It’s such a tight division so it’s all about trying to nick a fine margin on our opponents.”

But Clark is not worrying about the shrinking gap between his side and bottom club Dundee United.

The Taysiders - who have a game in hand - have cut 11th-placed Killie’s lead to just eight points after back-to-back wins over the Hearts and County.

Clark, however, said: “I can’t affect what anybody else does. I can only affect Kilmarnock.

“We need to get results no matter what Dundee United are doing. Just because they have got some results doesn’t mean we need to do it even more. It doesn’t push us any harder or give us any more desire.

“That desire is there in any case.”

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