Kilmarnock: Angelo Alessio short of attacking options against Connah's Quay Nomads

Eamonn Brophy and Gary Dicker
Gary Dicker (right) has backed Eamonn Brophy to deliver for Kilmarnock
Europa League: Connah's Quay Nomads v Kilmarnock
Venue: Belle Vue, Rhyl Date: Thursday, 11 July Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio admits he is short of attacking options as he prepares his team to face Connah's Quay Nomads on Thursday.

With Jordan Jones joining Rangers and Kris Boyd retiring, the Italian will look to Eamonn Brophy for goals.

"A lot of players went away," said the former assistant to Antonio Conte.

"Things are happening behind the scenes at this moment. If there are any players who can add something to the squad we are interested, of course."

Alessio's lack of options means he has only taken an 18-man squad to Wales despite Uefa allowing clubs to name 25 players for Europa League duty.

The Italian would not expand on which moves he was working on but gave the impression of a manager not keen to make sweeping changes to a team that performed so well under Steve Clarke last season.

And, asked about Oxford United's reported interest in defender Stuart Findlay, Alessio replied: "Our task is to keep our best players in the team, not sell [them]."

The first leg of the Europa League first qualifying round will be played at the compact Belle Vue Stadium, the home of Rhyl, as Connah's Quay Nomads' own ground lacks sufficient seating in its 1,500 capacity for a Uefa match.

Killie midfielder Gary Dicker, likely to captain the team this season, was relaxed about the striking situation, saying: "We've had a lot of boys who have come back in to the team, and boys who have been out on loan who will probably get a chance, like Dom [Thomas] and Greg Kiltie. Rory McKenzie and Burkey [Chris Burke] have chipped in with goals.

"Last year people probably thought we were a bit defensive but we created a lot of chances in most games we played in. There's always pressure on attacking players but 'Brophs' is used to that now. He's got number nine. He knows the pressure that comes with being a number nine at any club. Whether it's Kilmarnock or Man United, the pressure is there to score goals.

"In fairness to Eamonn, he doesn't let much faze him. That probably works in his favour. Playing with Scotland, most players would have been a nervous wreck but knowing Eamonn he'd be chilled out - he probably forgot he was starting at one stage. His record has been really good and he's got better as he's played more."

With only two friendly matches under his belt as Kilmarnock boss, Alessio added: "We have not had time to watch a lot of games but we are ready to play our football. Tomorrow will be very tough. We have done our homework."

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