KILMARNOCK owner Billy Bowie admits he is delighted with the progress being made under manager Angelo Alessio following the embarrassment of the club’s Europa League exit.

Alessio, a former assistant to Antoni Conte at Italy, Juventus and Chelsea, had the unenviable task of succeeding the hugely successful Steve Clarke in the dugout in the summer.

His tenure got off to the worst possible start after the Rugby Park side were knocked out of the Europa League qualifiers by Welsh part-timers Connah’s Quay Nomads 3-2 on aggregate, leading to defender Kirk Broadfoot criticising the Italian’s coaching methods as he departed for St Mirren.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Keith Lasley: Declan Gallagher can shine on international stage

However, Saturday’s victory at Hearts has propelled Kilmarnock, who have only conceded one goal in their last six league outings, up to seventh in the table. And Bowie believes the team are heading in the right direction under with the 54-year-old at the helm.

He said: “Yes, he’s finding his feet. He was unlucky coming into the club when he did, short of some players but we think he’s done remarkably well with the squad he had. 

“A few results went again us but myself and the board, we’re very happy with the progress that’s being made. It’s entertaining football as well, you’re watching a game that is entertaining with some nice passes, crosses.”

Bowie, meanwhile, has confirmed that the club are currently attempting to fill the newly created head of football operations role at the club.

Speaking to Kilmarnock TV, he added: “At the moment we’re looking to employ a football executive, anything to do with kicking a ball he will be overlooking. 

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: England cap Steven Caulker keen to answer Scotland's defensive SOS

“A head of football, from the youths up to first team, we’ve got this pathway for the youths and hopefully more of them will make it. We’re in talks at the moment. There’s a lot more work to be done and we want to be a forward-thinking club. 

“We don’t want things appearing on us, we want to be ready for the January window and looking for any players, get ahead of the game, raising the bar as well.

“If a player goes, we need someone to come in and slot in behind them, it’s not panic stations, ‘we’re short of this position’. We want a Plan B, and Plan C as well.”