Chris Burke: Kilmarnock winger relishing impact of Steve Clarke

Chris Burke celebrates scoring for Kilmarnock against Rangers
Chris Burke scored a late equaliser as Kilmarnock drew with Rangers in Steve Clarke's first game as manager

Winger Chris Burke admits he was shocked to learn of Steve Clarke's arrival at Rugby Park, but is relishing the impact he has made at Kilmarnock.

Former West Brom boss Clarke was assistant to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, and Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool.

He became Killie manager in October.

"Trust me, when we heard he was coming, everybody was a little bit shocked, and happy and excited to work with someone of his calibre," Burke said.

"He has managed in the Premier League and worked with the top managers in the world."

Since taking over, Clarke has guided the embattled Ayrshiremen to draws at Ibrox and Celtic Park, with Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Partick Thistle their first home Scottish Premiership win of the season, and their heaviest league win since 2006.

Kilmarnock are bidding for a third successive win when they travel to Dingwall on Tuesday night for a Premiership meeting with Ross County.

Steve Clarke
Clarke has led Killie to wins over Hearts, St Johnstone and Partick Thistle

"He has brought his experience and bringing [assistant manager] Alex Dyer has worked very well," Burke, 34, added.

"Since the gaffer came in you can see the performances have improved and that is shown in the results.

"Different managers bring different ideas and everyone learns until the day they retire.

"The young ones are taking it in like a sponge and the experienced players are improving as well.

"But you can't just think we are doing well and take the foot off the gas, we need to capitalise on it.

"So we are looking to make sure it is three wins in a row."

'We are looking to keep building'

When Clarke left St Mirren for Chelsea in 1987, Ross County were still a Highland League team.

Ahead of the trip to tackle the Staggies, former Scotland defender Clarke said: "This will be my first visit to Dingwall to play my first game against Ross County and I look forward to it.

"They have come a long way so credit to the directors, the owner, the people who have set it up and got them to the position they are in.

"If people are prepared to put in the time, the effort and money, and these teams can prove they deserve to be at the top level then that's great, that shows a good level of ambition.

"We are looking to keep building. If we can continue the level of performance hopefully the points will keep coming."

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