sport

Johnston hails influential Boyd

Chris Johnston heaped praise on Kris Boyd after the striker scored one and made one in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Ross County.

Kilmarnock took the lead in the seventh minute when Boyd's delivery across the face of goal fell to Johnston at the back post and he smashed the ball low into the far corner of the net.

Former Rangers striker Boyd popped up with the winner after Stuart Kettlewell had replied for the hosts, as Killie earned their first away win in the league this season.

"It's been brilliant to work with him day in day out in training - he wants the best from you and the goal he got was different class. It's great playing with a player like him," teenager Johnston said of Boyd.

"He helps you all the time throughout games, on and off the ball, especially to be in the right areas."

Johnston, capped by Scotland's Under-19s and highly regarded at Killie, also reserved special praise for manager Allan Johnston.

"The gaffer, he was a winger as well. He just tells me to get at them, one v one, just go take them on, that's brilliant I've got that freedom just to go and play," he said.

"He'll come up to you individually and give you tips on what to do. For instance, if the ball is on the other side get in the box at the back post, you don't know where it is going to break, and obviously I was in the right place when it broke for me today."

With both teams toiling towards the bottom of the table, the three points lifted Kilmarnock above County and into 10th place, and Johnston hopes they are now moving in the right direction.

"The most important thing was the three points," said Johnston, who was also on target in last week's 5-2 loss to Dundee United. "To come up here after a long journey and get the points is good - we go home happy.

"It was really massive win, we go above Ross County now but we need to kick on now.

"I feel confident, especially after getting a goal last week and getting one this week. It's brilliant for me and brilliant for the team."

Boyd's winning goal was a fine chipped finish from 20 yards that gave County goalkeeper Mark Brown no chance.

"As soon as he shaped up I thought that was what he was going to do. I tried to get back on the line but that's the quality he's got," said Brown.

Reflecting on the game overall, Brown added: "I thought we started the game well and played some good stuff, unfortunately an error led to Kilmarnock taking the lead and it's a different type of game after that.

"When they had a 2-1 lead they were protecting it, they sat in and made it difficult and got numbers behind the ball and unfortunately we couldn't break them down.

"The most important thing is that we believe that what we are doing is right and keep positive. I see what we do every day in training and I see the quality of players we have.

"Over the course of a season you are going to get spells where you don't get a good run. Unfortunately for us we are in one of these little spells just now, but there is a great spirit amongst the squad.

"I don't think we are too far away from turning these defeats and draws into victories."