STEVE Clarke won’t win manager of the year but Kilmarnock may have made the decision of this season with his appointment.

Before the former West Bromwich Albion manager arrived, he also has Liverpool, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Chelsea on his coaching CV, the Ayrshire side had taken three points from eight league games.

The record is 15 from nine since the 54-year-old replaced Lee McCulloch.

Kilmarnock, who face Ross County tonight in Dingwall, even moved to eighth in the table thanks to the 5-1 win over Partick Thistle, the club’s biggest league victory since 2006.

“Trust me, when we heard the manager was coming, I think everybody was a little bit shocked and happy and excited to work with someone of his calibre,” said Chris Burke who has played for a few top bosses in his time.

“He has managed in the Premier League and worked with the top managers in the world.

“He has brought his experience and bringing Alex Dyer (assistant) has worked very well. Since the gaffer came in you can see the performances have improved and that is shown in the results.

“Different managers bring different ideas and everyone learns until the day they retire.

“The young ones are taking it in like a sponge and the experienced players are improving as well.

“But you can’t just think we are doing well and take the foot off the gas, we need to capitalise on it.

“So we are looking to make sure it is three wins in a row.”

Owen Coyle, the Ross County manager, is convinced his team will drag themselves higher in the table if they take their Ibrox spirit into festive matches.

Coyle was bewildered by some of the officiating in the Glasgow contest but blown away by the character shown by his team, particularly the honesty displayed in owning up to mistakes in a match they led but lost 2-1.

"From the players’ perspective, there was a lot of bravery in terms of being prepared to get on the ball in that arena," said Coyle. "That tells me they have the mentality.

“We certainly should have been leaving Ibrox with a positive result.

“Moving into tomorrow night, we have to make sure we are coming out on the right side of those margins.

“If we do that, there are going to be loads of points and loads of wins available."