Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark does not believe Kris Boyd’s controversial comments on Ian Cathro will fire up Hearts when they square off later this month.
Rugby Park striker Boyd has sparked a heated debate after claiming the 30-year-old rookie Jambos boss would be “out of his depth” at Tynecastle in his weekly column with the Scottish Sun.
But Killie manager Clark has no problem with his veteran frontman voicing his opinion and defended the 33-year-old’s right to speak his mind.
He said: “I’ve not seen the article but Kris is an experienced man who is doing a lot of work in the media. If he has an opinion on something, he is well within his rights to put that opinion forward.
“If that means he takes a bit of stick at Tynecastle then I’m sure he will be big enough to take that on the chin. That’s life.
“I don’t think he’s tried to be derogatory about anyone. He’s given an honest opinion about what he believes.”
The teams meet at Tynecastle on December 27 but Clark does not think Cathro will be pinning Boyd’s words up in the Gorgie dressing room for motivation.
“I don’t see it changing the mentality of the Hearts management team and their players when we go to Tynecastle,” he said. “They are a team who look to win every game in any case and be aggressive each time.”
Meanwhile, Clark admits he cannot afford to perform the same kind of major surgery he carried out on his squad during the summer when the transfer window opens next month.
The Killie boss signed 17 new players but paid the price as his new side struggled to gel, winning just once in their opening eight Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures while also suffering a Betfred Cup group-stage exit.
Clark said: “We’ve made progress with one or two of the loan boys. We’re still waiting for final confirmation.
“We’re speaking to other clubs as well with regards potential signings.
“But I’m also aware though that if you change things too much and move all your loan players out and bring fresh ones in, that could upset the balance. Right now we’re starting to see some of those lads produce some good performances.
“We didn’t really have the time in the summer to bed the guys in and really ended up forfeiting our League Cup campaign. I didn’t want to do that but it was the best thing that could happen as the players quickly realised what was required.
“But that can’t be the case in January. We can’t afford to lose a Scottish Cup tie or league games while those players are bedding in, so stability could be the key.”