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Reaching Europe is my trophy, says Clarke as he waves goodbye to Killie

Kilmarnock 2 Rangers 1

All change: Steve Clarke is set to become new Scotland boss
All change: Steve Clarke is set to become new Scotland boss

By Andy Newport

Scotland-bound Steve Clarke bid an emotional farewell to Rugby Park after steering Kilmarnock to their first third-place finish in 53 years.

The Scottish Football Association are set to make their move for the former West Brom and Reading boss today as they look to name Alex McLeish's successor.

But the 55-year-old will bow out on a high in Ayrshire after yesterday's 2-1 win over Rangers ensured his side pipped Aberdeen to book a guaranteed Europa League slot.

Clarke - who did not speak to the media either before or after the game - did address the jubilant Killie faithful from the centre of the Rugby Park pitch after Eamonn Brophy tucked home a last-minute penalty to send Kilmarnock on their way to their first European adventure since 2001, when they overcame Glenavon before bowing out to Viking of Norway.

"In my time at Kilmarnock Football Club, I'm sorry I didn't win you a trophy," he told the fans. "But I am telling you now, as I stand here in front of three stands of Kilmarnock supporters - bye, bye Rangers and next season I'm sure it will be bye, bye Celtic as well.

"This is Kilmarnock. This belongs to you. This is the most important thing. I said no trophy but I take this - this is my trophy. Thank you."

Defeat for Gers means they finish nine points behind Celtic and boss Steven Gerrard admitted individual errors cost his side.

Alfredo Morelos grabbed his 30th goal of the season as he cancelled out Chris Burke's opener but Borna Barisic handed Brophy his chance to be the hero when he dragged down Stephen O'Donnell in the box.

Speculation continues to mount that Morelos will be sold this summer but Gerrard insists if he does go it will not be on the cheap.

The Rangers boss - who responded "watch this space" when asked about reports he has agreed a three-year deal for free agent forward Greg Stewart - said: "It is a great finish from Alfredo, a poacher's goal and his all round level this season deserves 30 goals.

"I'm pleased for him. I'm hoping he's learned a lot from the last five weeks. That is what we should be talking about with Alfredo - his goals, his play - rather than talking about the discipline side.

"It's good for him to go away and remember another goal than the last four weeks.

"He is on a four-year contract. We have had one bid for Alfredo since I've been Rangers manager and it was for €3m. Would you expect to see him in the summer if you were me?"

KILMARNOCK: MacDonald (MacKay, 67 mins), O'Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor, Power, Dicker, Mulumbu (McAleny, 80 mins), McKenzie, Burke (Millar, 80 mins), Brophy. Unused subs: Boyd, Tshibola, Waters, Bruce.

RANGERS: Foderingham (Firth, 83 mins), Flanagan, Goldson, Worrall, Barisic, Kamara, Jack, Halliday (Defoe, 80 mins), Candeias (Mebude, 63 mins), Morelos, Kent. Unused subs: Dorrans, McCrorie, Middleton, Coulibaly.

Referee: Willie Collum

Man of the match: Chris Burke

Match rating: 7/10

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