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Kilmarnock’s Dicker insists dressing-room unrest reports are ‘wide of the mark’

Kilmarnock skipper Gary Dicker insists the players and staff are united following their dismal European display.

Reports of crisis talks and potential player revolts have emerged following Kilmarnock’s shock Europa League defeat by Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads in Angelo Alessio’s first home match in charge.

But Dicker dismissed claims of dressing-room unrest.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in that dressing room that can do that,” the 32-year-old said.

“You are probably thinking about players who are on 150 grand a week who can do what they want. There’s no-one in that dressing room that can afford to down tools and strut about and do what they want. I don’t know who’s getting that information but they are wide of the mark.

“You won’t get anywhere on your own in this game. If there is one or two that don’t want to be there you will quickly find them out.

“We have a good dressing room, a good core of players who have been there before and everyone is pulling in the same direction. I don’t think there’s one player in that dressing room that isn’t. We are all in it together.”

Killie have gone from their most successful manager in recent years to an unknown quantity since Steve Clarke left to take over Scotland.

Italian Alessio has plenty of experience as Antonio Conte’s assistant at the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Italy but has branched out on his own, with former Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati as his assistant.

When asked about changing managers, Dicker said: “It’s always hard. What probably makes it a bit more different is when you change manager and you’re not doing well, and when you have competitive games straight away.

“The break is getting shorter and you need to come in and hit the ground running and get results straight away.

“Listen, there are no two managers the same out there. It just takes time.

“Hopefully we get a few more players in and we get a result on Sunday and people start thinking about something else.”

On the subject of the language barrier, Dicker said: “I think his English is a lot better than people probably think it is.

“Football has its own language. I have played with enough foreign players, there’s enough players in this league that can’t speak English. I don’t think that’s an issue.

“If you want to get a point across you can do it without speaking perfect English or fluent English. I think that’s just people putting it out there and wanting to make a story.

“There’s no hassle with training and Massimo has come in and speaks the language perfect. The manager’s English is a lot better than people give him credit for.

“I just think that’s an excuse. There’s no players going to come out and say that. It’s up to us and staff to pull together.”

Ahead of Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership opener against Rangers, he added: “It’s two games. I know it’s crazy but you don’t get a long time in football before people are jumping down your throat and wanting to know what’s gone wrong.

“We will steady ourselves. We were quite good at that over the last two years, we never got too high or too low and we have got to remember what we are good at and get back to it.”