KRIS Boyd last night predicted that Steve Clarke could be lured away from Kilmarnock by a larger club if he continues to do well at Rugby Park – including by one of their Scottish rivals.

Former West Brom and Reading manager Clarke has transformed the fortunes of the Ayrshire club since taking over from Lee McCulloch back in October.

They have gone from bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership to eight place thanks to draws with Celtic and Rangers away and wins over top six rivals Hearts, St. Johnstone and Motherwell in that time.

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Landing the ex-Chelsea and Liverpool assistant – who was being linked with Rangers before he was appointed - was a massive coup for Kilmarnock and stunned many in Scottish football.

But former Ibrox striker Boyd knows they could struggle to hold onto him if they carry on performing well and rising up the top flight table.

“The manager was on every job list there was in Scotland for ages,” he said. “Rangers have been linked with more or less everyone, haven’t they? And they still haven’t managed to get anyone.

“It is part and parcel of being where the manager was in his career. He has worked at a high level and, when any job comes up and you are out of work, it is the same people getting linked.’

“But it wasn’t really a surprise he chose Kilmarnock because that is where he is from and he has said it is not about money.

“He is a wealthy man, so it is about the passion for him to be managing in football and being who he wants to be. He thrives on improving players.

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“It is a massive coup for Kilmarnock. Whether this is the manager’s last job in Scotland, I don’t know. There is no doubt Kilmarnock pushed the boat out as far as they possibly could to get him in.

“We are not daft around Kilmarnock. If you are successful and do well, you are going to leave to go to bigger clubs. That is what happens. As it stands right now, though, I think the manager is very happy.

“When he came in, you could see he wanted to get the job done. But he is more relaxed on the training field now as well because he feels he has already got through to us what he wants."

Boyd added: “But managers are the exact same as players. If the right offer comes along and the right financial package is there for you to go and improve yourself, you are going to leave wherever you are.

“Every club has a level of where it is in the food chain. Kilmarnock have brought through loads of players in the past and that is just what it does. You get a lot of youngsters on the pitch here. Are they going to leave if they are good enough? Yes.

“It is the exact same with managers. If they come in and do well, I don’t really think teams in Scotland – not just Kilmarnock – are in a position to keep them if they are doing really, really well and there is an opportunity for them to go and better themselves. They are going to do it.”

Steve Clarke was speaking as the SPFL Trust launched Festive Friends, an initiative to provide free lunch, companionship and the means to get there at clubs across the country. The programme is this year being funded by the SPFL.