STEVE CLARKE insisted the Kilmarnock job suited him perfectly after signing a new, improved contract.
Clarke had two years left on his initial contract but the club have improved his terms, and those of assistant Alex Dyer, following an exceptional debut campaign.
Killie were bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership when Clarke was appointed in mid-October but ended the season in fifth spot with a club record top-flight points total of 59.
The former West Brom and Reading manager has coached at the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham but has relished his return to Scottish football, 30 years after leaving St Mirren for Stamford Bridge.
The 54-year-old told Kilmarnock’s official website: “Right from the very start I spoke about the honesty the board showed me when I first spoke to them, and I feel that runs right through the club.
“I have a very honest group of players who want to work hard and want to improve. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for.
“I’ve got good backroom staff, everybody works hard. It’s certainly not the biggest backroom staff I’ve had, it’s not the biggest club I have worked for, but at this moment in time it suits me perfectly.
“I’m enjoying the job, I enjoy going to my work day in, day out and when you get that job satisfaction, it’s great.”
Clarke, who was voted Scottish Football Writers’ Association manager of the year, vowed to repay the board’s faith after signing the new deal.
Speaking from a training camp in La Manga, Spain, he added: “There was no pressure on me to improve the contract.”The club approached me at the end of last season. I have a good relationship with the people above me, the people I have to work with day in and day out. The relationship is strong, it’s good.
“I was very grateful and pleased that they came to me and offered me a new, improved contract. It tells you that you’ve done a good job and it shows they have a little bit of faith in you.
“It is easy to sign the contract and easy to take the rewards, but the hard bit is that I need to repay that faith by doing more good work for the club, and hopefully we can do that this season.”
Kilmarnock director Billy Bowie said: “The board is delighted that the club has secured the services of both Steve and Alex on new deals. There’s a real feeling of unity at the club as we look forward to the new season.”
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