Alessio wants Kilmarnock to be more ruthless

Killie have not scored in two consecutive matches.

By Press Association Published: 29 September 2019 - 11.04am

Sport

Football

Scotland

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio says his side need to be more clinical in attack after failing to take a host of chances in their 0-0 Ladbrokes Premiership draw with Ross County.

Having crashed out of the Betfred Cup in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Hibernian following 120 goalless minutes, Kilmarnock drew a blank for the second game in succession.

Killie were denied the three points following an inspired display by Ross County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, who pulled off a string of impressive saves, including from a second-half Osman Sow penalty.

With Scotland striker Eamonn Brophy absent because of a thigh injury, Sow stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his weak effort was comfortably saved by Laidlaw.

Alessio was pleased with the amount of chances his side created but knows they need to quickly develop a cutting edge.

Alessio said: “The positive thing is that we created chances.  I said before the game we have to improve in attack.

“Clean sheets are good but we need to show more in attack because we are creating opportunities to score.

“I think we need to be more clinical and to be more determined. This is what we are practising in training.”

Sow’s miss followed unsuccessful penalties for Stephen O’Donnell and Niko Hamalainen in the Hibernian shoot-out.

Asked if he will consider a change, Alessio replied: “I don’t know about changing the penalty taker – after this week we would maybe be doing it after every game! I don’t want to do it, but we’ll reflect on it.

“We have Brophy to take them but he didn’t play. Sow has taken penalties before but he missed.

“Brophy felt a tightness in his hamstring on Friday night. He tried (on Saturday morning) but he still felt a bit of pain and for this reason I decided to rest him.”

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson was pleased to pick up a point on the road, which keeps them in fifth place in the top flight.

Ferguson said: I’m happy with the result – this is a great away point for us. We had to work hard for it, that’s for sure. We maybe under-estimated how they would be feeling after going out of the Betfred Cup to Hibs on penalties after extra time in midweek.

“We thought their energy levels and desire would drop a little bit after their efforts – especially after being at Celtic Park last weekend – but that didn’t happen and we were definitely in a game.

“We almost nicked it at the death. We always believe there will be one last chance for us and, to be fair, Brian Graham’s usually on the end of it. Unfortunately, although he got his head to it, he just couldn’t keep the ball down. On another day, that goes in.

“However, if I’m being honest, a draw was a fair result. It would have been a smash-and-grab job if we’d got that goal at the end, but we’d have taken it.”