Kilmarnock-Celtic reaction: Return of Bobby Williamson and Derek McInnes says 'bye bye' to Rangers and Celtic (for a little while)

Some observations from Rugby Park as Celtic rout Kilmarnock to return to the top of the league on goal difference.

Former Kilmarnock manager Bobby Williamson was interviewed on the pitch at half-time of the Rugby Park side's 5-0 defeat to Celtic (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Former Kilmarnock manager Bobby Williamson was interviewed on the pitch at half-time of the Rugby Park side's 5-0 defeat to Celtic (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The return of Bobby Williamson

God love Bobby Williamson. When you’ve won the Scottish Cup for a club you don’t really have to do much to get a round of applause – and the former manager truly did not give much away when he was interviewed on the Rugby Park pitch at half-time.

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An entertainingly clipped exchange saw the famously curmudgeonly former striker refuse to play the game. “Remember your first goal for Kilmarnock, Bobby?” “No idea,” came the reply. What are you doing in Africa these days? “Drinking.”

Williamson celebrated his 61st birthday on Saturday and has returned to Scotland for a few days. He remains based in Nairobi. He has not had his health battles to seek and battled cancer of the nasal cavity a few years ago.

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It was good to see him on the pitch looking trim and well. There was also a shout out for Jim Clark, his former assistant at Kilmarnock, who celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday. Clark was also his assistant at Hibs.

“Bye Bye” Old Firm

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It wasn’t just the depressing sound of Celtic fans belting out “sad orange b*stard!” in the direction of Derek McInnes that made you think of Steve Clarke. The Scotland manager famously waved “bye bye” to the Rangers fans after a win against them in his last game in charge of the Rugby Park club. Now Derek McInnes will be delighted to say farewell to both sides of the Old Firm after taking them on in an exacting eight-day period. As he said himself, the season starts now for his side after conceding seven goals and failing to score in that period. It’s very harsh scheduling being given two such tough assignments back-to-back having just returned to the top flight.

McInnes’ side are not due to meet Rangers or Celtic in the league until January, when they again face them on consecutive weekends. Kilmarnock have a slightly less awkward run of fixtures coming up when they will hope to get some more points on the board. Otherwise things might get a little tricky.

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Kyle Lafferty - 'I'll show 'em!"

Fans like to think they have a part to play in what happens on the pitch. While that might be fanciful for the most part, it’s true they can on occasion have a direct impact – with one such example coming here at Rugby Park just before half time.

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Killie had just conceded a third goal and things had become quite ragged for the hosts. But they did launch one promising attack which saw Kyle Lafferty take up a good position on the left-hand side of the box. He had support alongside him and would have been better served laying the ball off to someone.

But instead, seemingly motivated by the volley of booing from the Celtic fans housed in the Chadwick stand that greeted him every time he was on the ball, the former Rangers striker had other ideas. Lafferty, his blood up, sought to try and silence those jeering him.

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As often happens when one tries too hard, the results were not what was desired. His shot sailed harmlessly over to the great glee of the supporters behind that goal. They had effectively baited him into taking the worst option.

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