SHIELS CALLING FOR ATTRACTIVE PLAY

Kenny Shiels hopes Kilmarnock are able to produce an attractive spectacle against Celtic.

Last Updated: 16/03/12 at 18:50 Post Comment

Kenny Shiels: His side are big underdogs

Kenny Shiels: His side are big underdogs

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Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels believes his team will have succeeded in the Scottish Communities League Cup final against Celtic if they help to produce an attractive spectacle.

Killie go into the game as huge underdogs as Celtic have won 21 of their previous 22 domestic games.

Shiels has been urging his players to enjoy their time in the limelight and express themselves at Hampden on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman said: "You always should play with an expression and do the good things in football - pass the football, dribble the football, positive movements and playing to win.

"All of those things, not head it kick it, put it in the stand. We have got to try and play football.

"If we can play football in a manner that makes it a better game, we have succeeded."

Celtic's 27-match unbeaten run against Scottish teams started in October at Rugby Park when they came from three down to secure a late and unlikely point.

Killie have beaten Rangers home and away this season and are unbeaten against Motherwell and Hearts and Shiels hope they can again flourish against one of Scotland's top teams.

"Good pitches are key," he said.

"We need a surface to play on and we haven't adapted very well to difficult surfaces and difficult opponents.

"They don't have the same impetus to play in a certain way. We have been bullied too much this season.

"You can look into it too much but I think we will play well on good pitches.

"We can still play bad on a good surface as well."

Shiels was today masterminding his tactics by looking back over DVDs of their 3-3 draw against Celtic but he accepts Neil Lennon's team are now a more daunting proposition.

"That was a different Celtic team," he said.

"If you look at the likes of Scott Brown, who is the captain of the team, he was missing.

"I have to say he was a big loss for them and he has helped them when he has come back. And now we have lost our captain (Manuel Pascali) so hopefully it's not a reversal."

Shiels looks set to gamble on the fitness of main striker Paul Heffernan, who had an anti-inflammatory injection on a groin injury on Tuesday.

"Paul Heffernan came through training quite well," he said.

"It's a bit early to say if there has been a negative response to his injury. I will know more nearer the time."

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