sport

Shiels back in the dugout

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels returns to the dugout against Inverness insisting his four-game punishment was "unjustified" yet insignificant.

The Rugby Park boss was handed the touchline ban for accusing fourth official Andrew Dallas of "fabricating" evidence against him after he was sent to the stand during a match with St Johnstone last November.

Shiels has always maintained he was telling the truth and will now return to the Killie bench when the club faces Caley Thistle in the Highlands in the SPL.

But, after his team lost just one of the four games he was banned for, Shiels claimed the punishment handed to him hardly mattered.

He said: "It was a period of injustice. There has been a lot of unjustified action against me this season. But you just take it on the chin and get on with it."

Asked if he was glad to be back in the dugout, he said: "I don't care. I can watch a game from the stand just as well as I can from down there. It's not really a punishment."

Inverness boss Terry Butcher is aiming to reap revenge on Killie for their William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round defeat earlier this month.

Caley lost 2-0 to Shiels' side but the Highlanders hope to make up for that disappointment by securing their first ever jaunt into Europe.

Second-placed Inverness have nine games left to seal a top-six spot and then push on for Europa League qualification after the league split.

Butcher insists the top flight has enjoyed one of its best ever seasons despite leaders Celtic marching 18 points clear, but now wants to make it an especially memorable year for his side.

He said: "It's been a fantastic season for the SPL, one of the best ever.

"Celtic are running away from the title but from the other clubs' point of view, it has just been wonderful.

"There has been some terrific football played, some great goals scored and some hugely entertaining matches, usually involving ourselves with a few goals at either end.

"It's tight and competitive but we have our own agenda now. We know what we have to do. We have five away, four at home.

"But it's this home match on Wednesday that really whets our appetite. We lost to Kilmarnock recently but we are ready to go and there will be no holding us back."