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Boyd can still find route to goal but is also leading the way

LAZY, limited, selfish.

Kris Boyd was a persistent pest
Kris Boyd was a persistent pest

The words once used to describe Kris Boyd were perhaps not as numerous as his goals were but they still hit their mark. Even in the prime of his career at Rangers the striker was beset by the stereotype; he was too much of a luxury to be trusted on the European or international stage and made too small an effort to earn a place in the bigger games. However, now in late 2013 and back at Kilmarnock, the forward would seem to be debunking them.

Behind the 30-year-old's classy, match-winning contribution in Dingwall on Saturday lay an industry and selfless endeavour for the cause. It seems, too, that the image of the self-absorbed striker who lost his way at Middlesborough, then Eskisehirspor and Portland Timbers no longer fits him snugly.

The striker is providing inspiration at Rugby Park, and not just with his goals. He signed a new contract at Rugby Park despite knowing that the club would be operating with a callow group of players and Boyd has been willing to supply advice to those around him. Boyd's winning goal against Ross County equalled Henrik Larsson's tally of 174 goals in Scottish top-flight football, earned his side a first away win of the campaign and took them above the Dingwall side and out of the relegation play-off spot. But it is his actions towards the other players in his team which have left the bigger mark on Kilmarnock.

"It is brilliant working with Kris in training, and not just for the goals he scores," said Chris Johnston, the young Kilmarnock winger who scored the opener. "Working with him day-in, day-out, he wants the best from you. He helps you all the time with advice and encouragement through games and, on and off the ball, you learn the right areas to be in.

"It's great for me, at my age and my stage in development. Boydy also helps on the training side, with drills and things like that. It is going to help me score more goals."

County simply need help, given the Dingwall side endured further disappointment and slid into the division's relegation play-off place. However, Mark Brown was still inclined to be bullish about his side's form. "The run we are on is less of a concern and more a disappointment," said the County goalkeeper. "We're not far away and it's important we keep positive and believe it will turn."

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