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Burke not bothered about Old Firm title rivalry as Killie set own targets

Kilmarnock derailed Rangers’ title bid this time last year but Chris Burke insists his side have no interest in who emerges victorious from the current scrap at the top.

Steven Gerrard’s team were caught cold 12 months ago as they returned to action from their winter break with defeat at Rugby Park.

It proved a pivotal moment in the title race as Celtic romped clear to win their eighth successive title.

This year, however, it is the Hoops’ turn to visit Rugby Park first up as the Ladbrokes Premiership resumes following the January shutdown.

But former Ibrox winger Burke insists the chance to be kingmakers once more is not a motivating factor for Killie as they prepare to host Neil Lennon’s team on Wednesday night.

The 36-year-old – who recorded an incredible six assists as Alex Dyer claimed his first win as boss with Saturday’s 6-0 William Hill Scottish Cup rout of Queen’s Park – said: “If I’m honest I don’t think about the title race. That’s up to Celtic and Rangers – they have to come here and get points.

“We concentrate on ourselves and have other targets for ourselves. We don’t think about helping anyone out. We want to be somewhere and stay somewhere and the aim is to get back in the top six and be competitive.

“Celtic will be looking for three points and there will be a lot of pressure on them but we have to make sure we do our own thing.”

Saturday’s meeting of Scotland’s two oldest clubs was the League One Spiders’ first game since they ended 152 years of Corinthian tradition by joining the professional ranks.

But the defending from Ray McKinnon’s team was straight from the amateur era and Burke took full advantage as he set up a double for Stuart Findlay and there were also goals for Alex Bruce, Greg Kiltie, Nicke Kabamba and Connor Johnson.

“I think the last time I did that was under-10s football,” smiled Burke. “I’m delighted overall for the team because we have had a sticky patch in not scoring goals but hopefully we have shut a few people up.

“Scoring six goals is excellent – OK five of them were set-plays but you still have to create chances to score goals and we did that.

“Unfortunately I don’t have an assist bonus but if anyone wants to be my agent then feel welcome!

“It’s about belief and it can only be good for the team to score six and not leak any. We have a tough test on Wednesday when we entertain Celtic but we go into the game with belief and we have a good record against the Old Firm here.”