Kilmarnock chief says ‘time for change’ as Alex Dyer leaves by mutual consent

Kilmarnock owner Billy Bowie insists it is “time for a change” after deciding to part company with boss Alex Dyer.

The 55-year-old has left his Rugby Park post by ‘mutual consent’ just two hours after seeing Killie throw away a two-goal lead and go down 3-2 at home to St Johnstone.

Dyer has seen his side win just two of their last 11 games, leaving them perched only four points above the bottom two and prompting chairman Bowie to say enough is enough.

“This was a tough decision for the club and not one which was made lightly,” he said in a statement.

“However in light of recent results and in the interest of preserving our Scottish Premiership status, we feel this is the correct time for a change.

“Alex is a great man who I have the utmost respect for and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Rugby Park.

“I want to thank Alex for his important contribution to some truly wonderful days here at Kilmarnock and I wish him every success in the future.”

Dyer initially moved to Ayrshire in 2017 when he was appointed number two to Steve Clarke and helped mastermind the club’s return to European action in 2019.

But when Clarke left to take over Scotland, Dyer was overlooked for the top job, with Angelo Alessio drafted in instead.

Celtic v Kilmarnock – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
Celtic v Kilmarnock – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park

The Italian’s reign proved to be a disaster and Dyer was eventually given control of the team – but he has been unable to replicate the performance levels managed by Clarke and has now been stood down having collected just 24 points from 25 games this season.

The Kilmarnock statement continued: “The club will make no further comment at this time while the board are fully focused on securing a replacement.”

Dyer confessed his team had hit the panic button as they folded against Saints.

The Rugby Park side looked set to hand their boss a much-needed shot in the arm after goals from Chris Burke and Aaron Tshibola put them ahead at the break.

Kilmarnock v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
Kilmarnock v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park

But they shipped three goals inside 18 second-half minutes to gift the points to Callum Davidson’s Betfred Cup finalists.

It was another bitter blow for the Ayrshiremen, who lost out to Livi in midweek after conceding twice late on, and Dyer could not deny there was a fragility about his team.

He said: “I’m disappointed, we were 2-0 up and in control of the game and the second half came around and we weren’t at the races. I don’t know why.

“We stopped doing all the stuff we’d done well in the first half and if you do that against a side who are confident then you get punished.

“It’s a big frustration. All they had to do was repeat the things they’d done in the first half, manage the game and we would have got a result.

“When they got their first goal, we panicked a bit and the nerves came back.

“When it went 2-2, for me there was only going to be one winner and that was them because they were on the front foot. We stopped doing what we’re good at and they got the winner.

“There is a fragile confidence about the team and that comes with not winning enough games and losing late goals like the we did the other night. Confidence is low.”

Guy Melamed and Murray Davidson both netted from close range before Ali McCann sealed a precious win for Saints as he rifled home from 20 yards out.

Both teams started the game locked together on 24 points – but it is Davidson’s team who now move seven points clear of the relegation zone as they leapfrog Killie into eighth place.

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park

The Perth boss praised his team for mounting their daring comeback, saying: “The first half was funny because that was probably the best we’ve played recently, so I was disappointed to be two goals down.

“Fortunately, we got the next goal and that gave us the chance to come back at them and I thought the players were brilliant (in the) second half.

“It’s been a good week, winning the Betfred Cup semi-final, drawing a tough game against Aberdeen and now this. Hopefully, this will give the lads confidence for the matches to come.

“I think that we can make the top six if we can carry on our form of this month.

“I’m still more concerned with getting the points to ensure we stay in this league and then we can move forward from there.”