Former Scotland defender Gordon Greer says he continues to be a student of football at the age of 36 and could scarcely have a better tutor than new Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke.
Greer cites Gus Poyet and Gordon Strachan as probably the best managers he has played for. But he feels Clarke is on a par and believes he is still learning new ideas as Kilmarnock attempt to hoist themselves clear of the foot of the table when they face Hearts at Murrayfield today.
He said: “I really enjoyed working under Gus Poyet at Brighton and I also enjoyed my time with Gordon Strachan for Scotland. Our manager is right up there. I see some similarities. Maybe there was a crossover at Chelsea with Poyet, I’m not sure, but there are similarities in the way they analyse things.
“I really enjoyed my time under Poyet at Brighton and it was a successful time on the pitch, which helped. Steve Clarke has put his mark on things since he’s come in. It’s great for an older player, who has played under a few managers, to see something different.
“He has done things already where I’ve thought, ‘If I was going to be a manager I would definitely take that into my approach’. I’m still learning at this stage of my career.
“I’ve never been to Murrayfield before but it will be good to play there. I don’t know what the atmosphere has been like for them so far but I’ve seen a few of their games and the pitch looks good. I know there’s some rugby on before our match, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
Clarke, whose team drew with Rangers and Celtic in his first two matches, remains pragmatic about Kilmarnock’s ambitions given their position at the foot of the table.
He said: “Our ambition is to stay in the league, simple as that. When you come into a club who’ve won one game in the season so far – you have to be realistic.
“We were joint bottom, with a couple of goals keeping us off the bottom. So staying up has to be the short-term target. If we get enough points we might look at a different one. I’d like to think there’s potential for greater success, that’s one of the reasons why I came here. But immediately I can only think about staying in the Premiership.”