Kenny Shiels wants post-Paatelainen era to begin in earnest

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Kilmarnock caretaker manager Kenny Shiels aims to shift the focus back to football and his players following the upheaval of Mixu Paatelainen's departure.

Shiels felt the players' performance in their 0-0 draw at St Johnstone last weekend was adversely affected by the disruption of their popular manager's exit to take charge of his native Finland.

Paatelainen bid farewell to his players on Monday and Shiels has now told them to concentrate on the visit of Inverness tomorrow.

"I want to put all of that behind us," he said. "It's a new chapter for the club, it's about the players and supporters and the staff behind the scenes.

"The performance of the players is the be-all and end-all, how they respond to the coaching and the training and the environment they are working and playing in."

Despite being below par at McDiarmid Park, Killie did enough to clinch the point that secured their place in the top six of the SPL.

Shiels, who confirmed last week he wanted the manager's job on a permanent basis, looks set to continue in the role until the end of the season.

"I will just keep going one match at a time and see what happens," said the Northern Irishman, who has been working on the ongoing task of contract situations.

"I am speaking to the chairman on a daily basis and just reporting back on how things are developing on the playing side.

"I want to try and get the attention focused on our next game against Inverness."

Shiels also confirmed Mehdi Taouil could join Frazer Wright on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

"Mehdi has two tears in his hamstring," he said. "Frazer has got a broken shoulder blade. He has had his operation and he is out for the season."

Meanwhile, Hamilton manager Billy Reid has urged his players to forget about what appears to be almost inevitable relegation and rack up a club milestone against Rangers on Sunday.

Hamilton's longest stay in the SPL looks set to end at three years and Reid said: "It will be a minor miracle if we manage to stay up now but as always we take it a game at a time and they come no bigger than playing Rangers.

"Someone said the other day we had not beaten Rangers at home for 72 years in the league. That tells you the task but over the seasons we've been here we have smashed so many records and it would be nice to do that on Sunday."

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