Kilmarnock: Gary Dicker welcomes arrival of new manager

Angelo Alessio
Alessio (left) is going it alone at Kilmarnock after serving as assistant to Conte on the club and international scene

Kilmarnock's players are not concerned by new boss Angelo Alessio's lack of experience as a manager, says captain Gary Dicker.

Alessio was Antonio Conte's assistant at Siena, Juventus, Italy and Chelsea.

The Italian previously managed Imolese, Massese and SPAL in his homeland's lower leagues but the Rugby Park job is his first as a boss since 2008.

"The clubs he's been at, players he's worked with, I'm sure he knows what he's doing," Dicker told BBC Scotland.

"You don't get jobs like that or last that long in the game without being found out.

"It's another good thing for the Scottish game, getting a manager up here who you wouldn't have got four or five years ago."

Midfielder Dicker revealed the squad found out about Alessio's appointment on Sunday via their WhatsApp group, and says the Italian's arrival brings "excitement and a bit of the unknown".

"It's a clean slate for everyone," the 32-year-old added. "It's a bit like you're on trial again to impress, which is a good thing as it keeps pushing the club forward.

"If you look at the level of player he's worked with, it's a hell of a lot higher than Kilmarnock.

"But it can be harder to manage at that level with the money involved and the egos, whereas at our level you have everyone pulling the same way and wanting to better themselves."

Former Juventus midfielder Alessio, 54, takes over four weeks after the departure of Steve Clarke to the Scotland job, and will work alongside Alex Dyer who remains in place as assistant.

"The club have taken their time and got who they wanted," Dicker said. "Whereas in the past you probably panic and rush a decision."

Alessio's partnership with Conte yielded three Serie A titles at Juventus and the Premier League crown with Chelsea.

But he faces a tough act to follow in Clarke who led Killie to back-to-back club-record points totals and secured a third-place finish last term, the Ayrshire side's highest top-flight placing in 53 years.

Dicker, though, believes the onus is on the squad and added: "The manager can only do so much to set you up and you follow the orders. It's up to the players to keep going."

'Bold and imaginative' - analysis

Chairman of Kilmarnock Supporters Association Iain Sherry on Good Morning Scotland

It's a very bold and imaginative appointment. He's certainly got a hard act to follow. He certainly has a very impressive CV. He's worked with some great players. It is all positive down at Rugby Park and we just want that to continue.

All manager appointments are a gamble. If a manager wins, he's a great guy and if he loses, he's not. It's always a worry when a new manager takes over because he's got to hit the ground running. We've got big games in Europe. There will be a need to freshen up the squad.

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