BILLY Bowie, the Kilmarnock majority shareholder, last night claimed the Rugby Park club now have the best manager in Scottish football after unveiling Angelo Alessio, the former Juventus and Chelsea assistant.

Alessio, who has signed a three year contract, has been charged with the unenviable task of taking over from Steve Clarke, who led the Ayrshire outfit to third place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and back into Europe last season before leaving for Scotland.

However, Bowie believes the Italian, who won three consecutive Serie A titles in Turin and the Premier League and FA Cup in London when he was No.2 to Antonio Conte, can be successful in his new role.

He claimed that Kilmarnock now have the best coach in the country due to the experience that the 54-year-old, who previously managed at Imolese, Massese and SPAL in his homeland, has and the high level he has worked at in the past.

“It had to be a strong appointment,” he said. “We have been saying since Steve went away ‘we will have the best manager in Scottish football’. That is where we had set our sights. I firmly believe we’ve got the best manager.

“He (Clarke) was a man who had been down south and had had a great playing career. Angelo is the same – he has had a great playing career and has worked with Conte for 10 years.

“We have to keep the standards. I’m a great believer that with everything you do you have to raise the standards, you never rest on your laurels. That is a bit tougher now. It was a big jump from where we were when Steve took over.

“The appointment happened more or less the same as any other time - people hear we’re looking for a manager and the applications come in. We had over 70, a lot of good ones. You whittle it down. Then obviously Angelo’s came in. That was worth considering.

“It was just down to the experience he has had. The word is experience. He has been at Chelsea. I laughed the other day about their fine system for the players. He said Chelsea’s was £31,000! They must’ve had some night out at Christmas!”

Bowie stressed that Alessio, whose side will take on Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales in the first Europa League qualifying round next month, will have a larger budget than his predecessor had due to their high league placing in the 2018/19 campaign.

And he admitted that the former Napoli and Italy assistant, who has appointed former Celtic and Hamilton player Massimo Donati to his coaching staff, could bring young players at Serie A clubs to Kilmarnock on loan next season.

“That’s what Kilmarnock are, we do loan in players, we had five last season,” he said. “So, yeah, his contacts are invaluable. But we have also got our own scout as well, Tony Spearing. He brought in the boys we had last year. I think we will be attracting a few good names.”