Kilmarnock face Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Europa League first qualifying round on Thursday with a 2-1 lead from the first leg
By James Simpson
Last Updated: 17/07/19 12:02pm
Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio is anticipating a great atmosphere with “noise and passion” from fans in his first home game at Rugby Park.
Alessio’s first competitive action ended in a 2-1 win against Connah’s Quay in the Europa League first qualifying round first leg.
Late goals from Eamonn Brophy and Stuart Findlay handed Killie a win in their first European match for 18 years.
Ahead of Thursday’s return leg at Rugby Park, Alessio said: “Tomorrow, I can’t wait. It’s the first home match for me. It’s a real chance to say hello to the fans, the support.
“For me, it’s a great opportunity.
“I think tomorrow will be a great atmosphere and I want to see, to listen to my fans, the noise, the passion.
“Because you know the supporters at Killie are very noisy.”
Alessio also urged his team to build on their win in Wales, saying they should not get complacent and start looking ahead to the next rounds after tasting victory.
“[It is] important to have same attitude and approach,” he said. “We have to complete the work tomorrow.”
“It’s important our focus is on this game.”
The winners of the tie will face Partizan Belgrade in the second qualifying round.
Kilmarnock kick off their Scottish Premiership campaign at home to Rangers on August 4, live on Sky Sports.
Boyd: Kilmarnock overachieved last season
Former Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd says it will be hard for the club to match their third-place finish last season.
“It’s very important that everyone connected with Kilmarnock stays calm,” he said. “When you look at what was achieved last year – we probably overachieved. We did overachieve.”
Boyd, who scored six goals in 25 appearances for Killie last season, added: “There needs to be a sense of realisation of where Kilmarnock should be and if the team don’t get off to a good start this season … you need to stay with the club.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult when you see that Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts are spending money in terms of bringing in players. To try and compete with that is very difficult year after year.
“Yes, you can have a season like last season, but to do it on a consistent basis is very difficult.”
The 35-year-old announced his retirement in June, finishing his career with 164 top-flight goals.