Striker lets fly at Killie chairman's claims that he lied about JJ questions

KEVIN KYLE today hit back at claims by the Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston that he lied over being questioned about Jim Jefferies' tactics at Rugby Park last season.

Upon being paraded as Hearts' latest signing on a two-year contract, Kyle seized the opportunity to reply to Johnston's allegation. The striker had stated in the media that Johnston had questioned him on some of Jefferies' decisions, which the chairman then denied on national radio. "He put the nail in the coffin on my Kilmarnock career when he called me a liar live on radio," said Kyle. "That's why I wouldn't sign for Kilmarnock, because after that debacle I lost all respect for him.

"It was fair enough for the chairman to put one side of the story across, but no-one else was allowed to. The only thing I maybe regret was being a bit naive when the papers phoned me regarding what had happened. They more or less told me the story, they knew the truth and more or less said it was better to put my point across, and I ended up putting it across.

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"The Kilmarnock fans thought I was trying to start trouble within the club, which wasn't the case at all. I was just trying to do what I thought was right in my eyes."

Johnston denied asking Kyle for his opinion on Jefferies' management of the Ayrshire club. Jefferies left Kilmarnock on 11 January and was appointed manager of Hearts 18 days later. He has now lured Kyle to Tynecastle on freedom of contract and the player cited Johnston's conduct as the central reason for not staying with Kilmarnock.

"I thought what I did was right, because me telling Jim Jefferies what had happened and doing well for Jim has worked out better for me in the long run because I'm at Hearts now and so is Jim Jefferies. Hearts are a far bigger club, a better club with far more prospects and ambitions."