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Alessio believes Fowler’s role will prove fruitful at Kilmarnock

Angelo Alessio believes James Fowler’s return to Kilmarnock is perfectly timed as he gears up for the January sales.

Former Rugby Park favourite Fowler was appointed as Kilmarnock’s first ever director of football operations earlier this week.

The club’s 2012 League Cup-winning captain has been tasked with leading the club’s recruitment department and has already sat down with Alessio to draw up plans for the winter transfer window.

And the Italian believes the fact that Fowler – who played over 400 games for Killie – knows the club so well will help them sniff out the best bargain buys.

Alessio said: “James has good experience. He’s a club legend here. He played here for 17 years and is a familiar person at the club.

“I think he can help us in terms of scouting, recruitment, transfers, loans – everything.

“It’s a massive job for him but I think we can have a good relationship.

“Did I think it was necessary to have someone in this role? For me it’s strange because in England and Italy, there is a sporting director (in many clubs) and it’s important for me in this moment.

“Previously in Italy I would work very closely with the sporting director. We’d speak every day about everything.

“I have to think about the market in January. It’s a good challenge for James but I think he can help us.

“Football has changed a lot. For me, (this set-up) is normal.

“James knows things very well in Kilmarnock. For me it’s a good (appointment) as we need a person for this job and James is a good fit.

“I’ve already had a good conversation with James about (what we’ll do in January). It’s important I work on the pitch but also to work together with James and to do our best for the club.”

Killie will host a Hearts side on Saturday who still have interim boss Austin MacPhee in charge.

But Alessio believes the Jambos players will be looking to put on a show in case Craig Levein’s permanent successor is watching.

He said: “Hearts are confident because they played well the last game against St Mirren and got the win.

“Sometimes there is a reaction when you change a manager. I know this is a big challenge for my team but we are ready to play a good game.

“It’s normal (that the players raise their game) because every player wants to impress the new manager.

“We expect this but I have to think about my team. It’s important to prepare well. I know it will be difficult but every game is tough and we’re ready for it.”