STEVE CLARKE has called for television bosses to agree a "decent" kick-off time to allow as many Kilmarnock supporters as possible to travel to Aberdeen for their Scottish Cup quarter-final encounter next month.

Three of the four ties over the weekend of March 3 and 4 will be shown live with the possibility of a lunchtime start at Pittodrie should that game be chosen.

The other all-Ladbrokes Premiership tie is between Motherwell and Hearts, while holders Celtic host Championship side Morton with Rangers at home to Falkirk, also from the second tier.

Loading article content

It has become something of a custom in recent seasons for the early match to be between two teams from opposite ends of the county.

And Clarke said: "Probably not a lot of people outside Kilmarnock will expect us to go there and win.

“My one concern about the cup game is that we get a decent kick-off time, a kick-off time that allows our supporters to go in large numbers and give the team the backing they deserve.

“The Kilmarnock supporters have shown since I came here anyway that they are prepared to travel in numbers to support the team and I am sure the trip to Aberdeen will be no different.

“The two (league) games are in the past, I will be able to use those games hopefully to come up with a solution to beat Aberdeen but before then is four very important league games.”

Kilmarnock, on the back of six successive home wins, could move into the top-six with victory against the Taysiders, who are four points behind.

While the Ayrshire side sit nine points ahead of bottom side Ross County and six ahead of second-bottom Hamilton albeit with three games in hand over County and one over Accies, the former West Brom boss is focused on staying safe.

He said: “It is a chance to get further away from the bottom, that’s the way I look at it, not at the top six.

“It is getting the distance between 12th and 11th, and getting as far away from them as possible as quickly as we can."

Neil McCann, the Dundee manager, believes new signing Steven Caulker is edging closer to his debut.

"Hopefully Steven will feature. He's feeling good," revealed McCann.

"I'll speak with him beforehand but it will have to be on his terms because he's missed so much in recent weeks. He's looked really good in training.

"It was probably just a bit soon for him on Saturday but he's had a couple of training sessions since then including Sunday so he's in a better position than he was at the weekend."

McCann's campaign has been a test but his ambition has remained the same.

He said: "All along, I've said I want to get into the top-six. That's never changed but when you lose to Ross County, who are bottom of the table, it's not acceptable."