Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland star Jordan Jones believes the Killie squad are all “desperate” to see manager Steve Clarke remain at Rugby Park next season after being talk of him taking over at Rangers in the summer.

Clarke has turned the Ayrshire sire around since taking the reins in October and hauled them from the bottom of the table into the top six and picked up wins over both halves of the Old Firm.

After losing their last two games to Clarke’s side, some fans want the Gers to make a move for the Rugby Park boss and lure him to Ibrox and replace Graeme Murty in the hotseat.

Jones admits Clarke has been “vital” for Killie after taking over from Lee McCulloch in October and thinks the side’s performances have shown how important he has been.

“He’s been vital for me personally and for the team,” said Jones, as quoted by the Evening Times.

“It’s not just results, we have been getting performances as well, especially against all the big teams – we beat Rangers for instance on Saturday.

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“If you ask any player at Kilmarnock they would all be desperate for him to stay. He’s been fantastic for all the lads and fantastic for the club as a whole.”

The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant manager doesn’t have the greatest track record as a manager following a strong first term with his stints at both West Brom and Reading ending in ignominy in the second year.

If the Gers do move for Clarke it would be the third consecutive season the Gers have kicked off with a new manager as they try to finally win the title for the first time since 2011.

Football Insider verdict:

Clarke has done a great job at Kilmarnock so far but history could still easily repeat itself and his side will nose-dive next season With such a limited managerial history it would be a huge gamble appointing the Killie boss although it is clear to see why his current squad would be so keen for him to stay. No player is ever going to want a successful manager to move on at the height of it and the current Killie quad will understandably be the same. While he might be flavour of the month for now, it wasn’t too long ago that Tommy Wright at St Johnstone was in the same position.

In other Rangers news, Graeme Murty is being tipped to take charge of an English club after a major development on Wednesday.

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