Skip to main content

Nicke Kabamba hungry to regain Kilmarnock starting spot

Kilmarnock v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Kenny Ramsay)

Kilmarnock striker Nicke Kabamba admits it did not take long for the credit he deposited in the bank with his man-of-the-match display against Celtic to run out.

The big frontman proved a real handful for Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer as he inspired Alex Dyer’s team to a deserved point earlier this month.

Kabamba won his side the penalty which Chris Burke converted to seal a 1-1 draw and generally refused to give the champions’ back line a moment’s peace.

But the former Portsmouth and Hartlepool hitman found himself back on the bench three games later as Killie lost to Rangers last weekend.

Being dropped for the trip to Ibrox was a bitter blow to the 27-year-old.

But Kabamba hopes he has now paid his dues on the sidelines and wants the chance to shoot down Dundee United when they visit Rugby Park on Saturday.

“It was a change of personnel last week at Ibrox,” he explained after being asked why he missed out on starting against Steven Gerrard’s side. “I was a little bit disappointed not to be involved from the start but that’s football.

“I just need to make sure I continue to do well in training and make sure I’m involved in the next game.

“The game against Celtic was a massive confidence booster for me. I played well but didn’t score so the next game I play in I’ll be looking to play well and get a goal.

“But I suppose that shows you about that standards expected here. Just because I did well against Celtic doesn’t mean I will keep my place a couple of games down the line.

“We just need to keep those standards as high as possible.

“Everyone wants to play, so it was a bit frustrating.”

Boss Dyer denies he is feeling the pressure despite leading Killie to just four wins from his 20 games in charge.

The Englishman’s team have taken just two points from their opening five games this term.

And Kabamba is worried the longer this season’s run without a win continues the harder it will be for Killie to climb out of their slump.

He said: “It’s not been the start we were planning to have but we’ve definitely got a lot in that changing room and I think we can turn it around.

“We’re just hoping to get some wins under our belt quickly.

“We don’t want this wait for our first to become a monkey on our backs, so I think United this weekend is a must-win game for us.

“But we’ll use the frustration over the way things have gone to fire us up this weekend. Three points this weekend would be perfect going into the international break.”