Kilmarnock skipper Alan Power on way forward after semi-final defeat to Celtic: "We'll need Kyle"

Alan Power is confident Kilmarnock will have processed the sting of defeat to Celtic in Saturday's Viaplay Cup semi-final by the time Rangers visit on league duty on Wednesday.

Kilmarnock skipper Alan Power believes Kimarnock can take heart from their Viaplay Cup semi-final display v Celtic (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Kilmarnock skipper Alan Power believes Kimarnock can take heart from their Viaplay Cup semi-final display v Celtic (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The Ibrox side are on a high after coming from behind to beat Aberdeen at Hampden yesterday. Kilmarnock, meanwhile, suffered a 2-0 loss to Celtic that was made harder to bear due a late penalty they felt they were denied when the score was only 1-0, when substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis barged into Joe Wright.

The reaction of the Kilmarnock supporters said it all at the end. They reserved their boos for the officials and cheered their own team from the park. It’s a quick turnaround before Rangers’ visit in midweek. The Ibrox side have won only twice in their last eight league visits to Rugby Park.

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“It’s an easy couple of games for us!” said Power, with reference to two such significant challenges in the space of five days. “But that’s why we wanted to come back into this league. We wanted to play in games like this and we can take great plaudits from how we played against Celtic and bring it into Wednesday and hopefully convert that into a win.

“We are doing well at home and we want to keep that going, no matter who comes to Rugby Park. We have one thing in mind and that’s to keep our winning run going. We will try and do that.”

Power believes Kyle Lafferty’s comeback after serving a ban for using sectarian language will be significant. Although the clearly rusty striker’s return on Saturday was aborted after 45 minutes when he was replaced by Christian Doidge, Power stressed that he will have a big part to play in helping fulfil Kilmarnock’s ambitions during the rest of the campaign.

“It’s important he got the minutes,” he said. “He’s been out for a good while. He needed to get it into his legs. I don’t know if it was the plan or not to take him off after 45 but he needed minutes. We are going to need Kyle for the rest of the season.”