Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month Angelo Alessio insists he never doubted himself during a tumultuous start to life at Kilmarnock.
The Italian has collected the award for October after Killie claimed three victories during the month.
The summer appointment of Alessio was questioned after he started his reign with a Europa League exit against Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads, and then lost to Rangers and Hamilton in his opening two league matches.
But the response was emphatic. Killie only lost to Celtic in their subsequent 10 matches and kept eight clean sheets.
A defensive injury crisis and Alex Bruce’s red card and suspension hindered Killie as they suffered defeats to Motherwell and Aberdeen but Alessio has transformed public perceptions of him.
The former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy assistant manager said: “I’m very proud of the award because it comes after a difficult start. So I consider it an award shared with my staff and my players and all colleagues at Kilmarnock.
“It was important to work in the right way and believe in my methods. They chose me for this job. It was a difficult start for many reasons after being eliminated from the Europa League and losing the first two matches.
“But that’s the past, we have to forget the bad start. Our focus is on the next game.”
Alessio, whose side host Hamilton on Saturday, added: “It’s difficult because I have won it after two defeats but we were going very well until Motherwell and then had some problems in terms of injuries which complicated our progress.
“But now we have another important game on Saturday and we can re-start our campaign.”
Alessio had come into a club which broke their top-flight points total in two consecutive seasons and he admits he has had to adapt his methods to the style the players were accustomed to under Steve Clarke.
“I have a lot of players from last season and I have to consider this,” he said. “I wanted to change some things about the style, I believe in my methods, but I have to be flexible because I have these players.
“I kept the same style as last season and I changed some situations on the pitch but now we have to continue, in the future I want to put in place other things I believe.”
Bruce returns from suspension on Saturday while fellow centre-back Dario Del Fabro is back in training following a hamstring lay-off.
But Kilmarnock are still reeling from the news earlier this week that Scotland defender Stuart Findlay faces a lengthy spell out with an injury to a tendon in his upper leg.
“It’s complicated but at the moment I can say minimum three months,” Alessio said of his anticipated lay-off. “I’m sorry for him because he was playing very well, more confident and in the national team too.
“At the moment he is devastated but he will come back stronger and more hungry.”
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