The former Kilmarnock player currently in charge of the side, temporarily for now at least, may well end up being the next permanent manager of the club. But if and when Lee McCulloch does move on from Rugby Park, they won’t have to look too far to find a suitable candidate to replace him.

Striker Kris Boyd may have something of a reputation, fair or not, for not being the most dedicated of trainers, but he puts more thought into the preparation side of the game than perhaps he is given credit for.

Having completed his UEFA pro-licence already, the record-breaking goalscorer has made sure that he has all the tools required to stay in the game when he eventually does hang up his boots.

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That thought is still far from his mind though, and after netting his seventh goal of the campaign with last week’s winner against Ross County, it is easy to see why the 33-year-old feels he still has plenty to offer on the playing field.

"I have got my UEFA pro-licence and I have done all the badges I could possibly do,” Boyd said. "But my main focus is on playing. I have been helping the under 17s in the past couple of years and the under 20s this year.

"Is it something I want to get into? Yes it is. There is no point in me saying it is not. It would be a waste of time doing the badges if that was the case.

"It is a learning process for me and we will take it step by step and we will see what happens in the future. My main aim is to stay in the Kilmarnock team and score goals.

"It is good to hear people mention my name in terms of a coaching capacity going forward. For me right now there is no better feeling than scoring goals on a Saturday. I want to continue to do that.

"There is plenty of life left in me yet. If I wasn't scoring goals or feeling that I could not influence games or contribute and take part then I would re-evaluate things.

"At the beginning of the season when I was not playing regularly it was hard to take. I'm not the type that comes off the bench and scores goals as I have always been a player that needs a run in the team.

"The most important thing is to keep putting myself in the position to score goals and with the young, fresh legs that we have in the team can only help me and I feel that I can go on for a few years yet.”

Boyd’s immediate concern is the huge match looming at Rugby Park this afternoon against Partick Thistle, an encounter that will go a long way to determining the nature of the run-in for both sides.

“This is definitely a must-win game, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “We’re at home to Celtic and Hearts and away to Rangers before the split so we need to beat Thistle and then win away to Inverness the following week to get points in the bag.

“We also need to change our mentality for games at Rugby Park. We must start expecting to win our games instead of turning up and hoping that we win.

“You want to stamp your authority on games in front of your own fans. We want teams to know that they’ll need to work damned hard to come to Rugby Park and get a result because that’s not been the case for the last few years.”

Partick Thistle’s Ryan Edwards is meanwhile desperate to help teammate Kris Doolan score his 100th goal for the visitors today as they look to open up some clear daylight in the race for the top six.

The Australian midfielder displayed his trademark selflessness as he teed up Doolan for last week’s opener against Inverness, and he now wants to repeat the feat, but he knows that a tough afternoon awaits Alan Archibald’s injury-hit squad.

“I got the assist for Dools 99th goal, which was great,” Edwards said. “I said to Kris ‘I would love to set up your hundredth’ because obviously he was close at the start of the season. I’d love to be the player to do that.

“[Kilmarnock] have been performing really well since Lee McCulloch took over. We’ve watched their videos and have analysed them.

“They’ve been using Kris Boyd up to and he’s been really effective for them and they’ve got good energy in the midfield, which is similar to us.

“They are used to their pitch, so it will be a difficult game and they deserve to be where they are as well. We’re looking forward to the game.

“It’s difficult because you lose or you drop points and you’re back in a dogfight. If you win you further yourself from the group and each game is getting more important than the last one.

“This game is massive for us and for Kilmarnock as well for them to get into the top six. If we get the three points it’s going to be really important for our push for the top six.”