Kilmarnock: Steve Clarke blames fatigue for heavy Celtic loss
Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has blamed tiredness for his side's 5-1 Scottish Premiership defeat at Celtic.
The Rugby Park side led the division at kick-off but conceded four first-half goals to fall to second, having played two games more.
They will be third if Rangers avoid defeat at Dundee on Sunday, but Clake refused to criticise his players after several days of talk about title tilts.
"Celtic were sharper than us and a little bit brighter," said Clarke.
"A big factor in that would be that they had seven fresh players all rested during the week and good to go and I'm flogging my back four. Now we can give them a rest and get ready to go again."
James Forrest gave Celtic the lead after just five minutes, with the hosts sailing into a 4-0 lead by half-time thanks to strikes by Odsonne Edouard, Mikael Lustig and Ryan Christie.
Eamonn Brophy's penalty pulled one back for Kilmarnock in the second-half before Forrest scored his second to complete the rout.
"The boys are disappointed with the result," Clarke said. "They're disappointed that the 600 Kilmarnock fans - for the first time in a while - go away from Celtic Park disappointed.
"I've said to them that our good work was done last weekend when we beat Hibernian at home and when we beat Livingston midweek. Those are the results that will dictate our season.
"I'll give the boys a couple of days off to freshen up but we go home, we take our medicine and we look to move on."