HE was accused of being out of touch with modern football, of being stuck in the dark ages, of being a dinosaur when he criticised Ian Cathro and his ground-breaking methods at Hearts last season.

But Kris Boyd feels the resounding success of Steve Clarke’s old school management techniques at Kilmarnock during the past two months have more than vindicated his outspoken stance on Cathro.

The Rugby Park club have gone from bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership to within just two points of a top six place since former West Brom and Reading manager Clarke has taken charge.

Read more: Kris Boyd admits Steve Clarke could be lured away from Kilmarnock - including by another Scottish club

They will go into their match with Rangers – who they drew 1-1 with at Ibrox in Clarke’s first game after taking over back in October – at home this weekend with high hopes of triumphing.

The startling transformation Kilmarnock have enjoyed show the benefits of speculating to accumulate and appointing an experienced manager with a good reputation.

The turnaround in fortunes will not have gone unnoticed by supporters Rangers who are still waiting patiently for a replacement for Pedro Caixinha to be brought in - some seven weeks after he was sacked.

What has been particularly pleasing for Boyd, though, is that the dramatic improvement has all been achieved thanks an old fashioned, no nonsense, hands-on approach from Clarke.

The 34-year-old was ridiculed by many when he stated that Cathro was overly reliant on modern technology and lacked the man management skills needed to occupy the dugout at Hearts.

The fact that the former Dundee United youth coach and Valencia assistant only last eight months before being sacked backed up his suspicions.

The former Scotland internationalist feels that what one-time Chelsea and Liverpool assistant Clarke has done since arriving at Kilmarnock does as well.

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“There is no magic wand in football,” said Boyd. “What you do is come in, get organised and get players working hard. That is what he has done and he has been crystal clear on that from day one. If you don’t do it, you are not going to play. The players have bought right into it and the results have shown that.

“I was laughed at and criticised in the past. You listen to people saying that football is going to be reinvented because coaches are doing this and that. As a coach, you are only as good as your players and how you get them working.

“Yes, you can say we are moving onto a different generation. It is a load of rubbish for me. You can do all the work with computers off the field and make everything look good, but it is about getting a team out and making them better.

“That has been the case here. We’ve hardly watched DVDs, for example. Every day before the game, we go through the opposition team and their strengths and weaknesses, but there is no build-up during the week of videos, videos, videos.

“It doesn’t work like that. If you are playing in the league and you don’t know the players you are playing against, you’ve got a problem anyway. Sometimes, people can come in and overcomplicate things. It is straight to the point, the training session gets done and you are up the road.

Read more: Kris Boyd admits Steve Clarke could be lured away from Kilmarnock - including by another Scottish club

“It has been a breath of fresh air that someone who has worked at that level has come in and kept everything simple. I like that. No one is going to reinvent the wheel.

“Some managers are cleverer than others and can see what is going to happen and tweak things before it does, but it is never going to be about coming in and changing everything. It is about keeping things simple and getting your points across.

“There is no overload of information here. The whole place has been lifted and it has been a case of someone being themselves, going onto the training pitch and putting across good training sessions. He can sit back and be proud of what he has done here and he is hungry for success.”

Boyd has praised the Kilmarnock board for having the foresight to bring in a leading manager like Clarke instead of once again putting their faith in young up-and-coming coaches after several seasons of struggling to avoid relegation from the Premiership.

“Kilmarnock have a history of giving managers an opportunity in their careers,” he said. ”Kenny Shiels, Mixu Paatelainen and probably even Lee Clark - it is a club which has always given managers an opportunity and Lee Clark was probably the same because he was out of work and looking to get back in.

“But I think this one is totally different. Kilmarnock identified that putting in young managers and hoping for something to happen wasn’t working. The manager has come here with a plan. He knows exactly what he wants on the pitch because it has served him well at big clubs. If we, as players, don’t buy into that, more fool us.

Read more: Steven Naismith admits Rangers return call would be hard to ignore​

“It’s not like he has been in one big job – because everyone can land on their feet once. He has moved four or five times to big clubs. If you don’t buy into what he wants, I think you will look back in time and think about what a wasted opportunity it was.

“If you want to learn from someone, no matter where you want to go in your career, he is someone to learn from.

“With the manager coming in, he has taken it to another level. He has been fantastic on the pitch and around the place. You only need to see the positivity that exists here.

“Even if you go into the hotel across from the stadium, everyone is speaking about what he has done and how good he has been. It has been a breath of fresh air for the players.”

Kris Boyd 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.