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Josh Magennis has point about SPL quality, says Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark

By Julian Taylor

Published 08/09/2016

New challenge: Josh Magennis is making his mark with Charlton
New challenge: Josh Magennis is making his mark with Charlton

Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark has given only the slightest hint that Josh Magennis may have been correct in his suggestion League One is of a higher level of quality than the Scottish Premiership.

Northern Ireland international Magennis, who joined Charlton Athletic from Killie during the summer, caused a stir in Scotland earlier this week when he claimed England's third tier was "a better standard."

"It's been a while since I've worked at that level as my last two jobs were in the Championship, but in terms of the technical side of things he potentially has a valid point," said Clark, who previously managed Huddersfield Town in League One.

"However as far as tempo, attitude and desire go, no. I couldn't fault it up here in Scotland, where players have a top class approach.

"Josh has gone to one of the biggest clubs in the division where there are high expectations. Charlton, along with Sheffield United, will expect promotion. There is a lot of pressure on them in League One and Josh will thrive on it.

"I watched Josh come on for Northern Ireland against the Czech Republic and he did really well. I'm not surprised at all how he has progressed for Northern Ireland with his pace, power and ability to get goals.

"Josh is one of a number of quality players who have moved south recently, with Kane Hemmings going from Dundee to Oxford United, Greg Stewart from Dundee to Birmingham and Marvin Johnson from Motherwell to Oxford United so young talent is growing again in Scotland."

Clark admits he was sorry to see Magennis depart Rugby Park - but wishes the in-form striker well during his fresh challenge with the London club.

"I would never have stood in his way of the move and I thanked him for all his efforts," the Killie chief added. "I'm proud of all his efforts both for Kilmarnock and in the Euros with Northern Ireland.

"I was aware the day would come when he would leave, but he didn't just leave the first chance he got. He had other offers but he wasn't going to take the first offer that came along.

"As a selfish manager I wanted him to stay but Josh wanted it to happen. He wanted to do the right thing for everyone involved and when Charlton came in it was too big an opportunity for him to turn down.

"It was then a case of getting the right deal for Kilmarnock so I suppose I was actually the biggest loser in the whole transfer."

Belfast Telegraph

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