Kilmarnock skipper Gary Dicker denies dressing-room unrest

Gary Dicker has insisted there is no internal discord at Kilmarnock under new manager Angelo Alessio in the wake of the horrendous European exit last week.

Kilmarnock's Gary Dicker limbers up for the start of the new Premiership season. Picture: Ross MacDonald
Kilmarnock's Gary Dicker limbers up for the start of the new Premiership season. Picture: Ross MacDonald

It had been claimed that leading players had raised concerns about the Italian’s abilities after the humiliating defeat by Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads.

However, Rugby Park captain Dicker did his best to 
dismiss suggestions there is disharmony in the ranks as they prepare for their opening Ladbrokes Premiership game against Rangers on Sunday.

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Dicker said: “Listen, I’d be the first to tell you and people would find out if stuff had gone on, but there’s no one at the club, players or staff coming out and telling stories.

“There’s nothing in it – we are all on the same page.

“We have a really good dressing room, everyone knows it, and we are all in it together.

“There’s no hiding place in the dressing room or on the pitch. We are all looking forward to the game this weekend.”

Dicker also dismissed claims that there is a communication issue due to Alessio’s limited usage of English and believes the new manager was unfairly attacked after the shame of the Connah’s Quay result.

The Irishman said: “There’s no problem really. Football is a language in itself. I’ve played with enough foreign players who didn’t speak a word of English but they’ve done alright. You can get your point across without being fully fluent.

“The manager’s English is better than people give him credit for, it can be difficult getting it across in press conferences and stuff.

“But he speaks well on the training pitch and doesn’t have a problem getting his points across.

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“I think the criticism was unfair. It’s always going to be hard for a new manager coming in and he’s not had a lot of time with the boys.

“We still need to get players in as quite a few left, so there are probably a million things going on.

“It’s gone crazy, but that can happen in one game. I think he’ll learn from it, like we all have.

“We’ve trained hard and we’ve had more time to learn how the manager wants us to play. So, it’s a bit of a blessing
that he has had that time to work with us and hopefully we can get a result on Sunday.

“A defeat like that can put you under pressure. I remember we lost on penalties to 
St Mirren last year and it was carnage. The fans were going mad.

“It’s the industry we’re in now. Managers and players don’t get time anywhere any more. People can jump the gun after a couple of games.”

Dicker admits the pain and embarrassment of the Europa League exit is still 
vivid – and it is the supporters 
he really feels sorry for.

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They waited 18 years to get back into European football – and some had even booked to go to Belgrade as Killie would have faced Partizan had they gone through.

Dicker said: “It’s been tough. We wanted to come into this season and hit the ground running – and we didn’t do it in Europe.

“I’m not one to let stuff go by easy and we’re desperate to get back out there and prove people wrong. The rest of the lads are the same way.

“It’s more for the fans. They waited that long to get back into Europe and to go out the way we did we let them down massively.

“I’m not going to butter it up – it’s not been nice. We don’t want that feeling.

“I think I said after the game I was embarrassed and I’m sure the other lads felt the same. But I won’t be the last footballer to feel that way and we have to use it.

“We don’t want to feel like that again and we don’t want to take it into the league campaign.”

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Although Sunday’s match seems the last fixture they may have wanted, Dicker feels the pressure will be on Rangers.

He is also looking forward to facing his former team-mate Jordan Jones.

He said: “There is maybe no better game for us. We’ve got to play them at some stage.

“They’ve invested a lot in their squad and they’ve signed a lot of good players. The pressure will be on them – even although we haven’t had a good start.

“They’ll be thinking they can be up there challenging for the title again – like they did last year.

“I think everyone will be looking at them and if they don’t come away with a 
win people will be asking 
questions.

“I was out for lunch with 
Jordan the other day but I already told him I won’t be so nice to him on Sunday!”