GARY Dicker has admitted that Kilmarnock’s relegation from the Premiership was the worst moment of his career – but has backed the Ayrshire club to bounce back from the disappointment next season.  

Irish midfielder Dicker was unavailable for the second leg of the play-off final against Dundee at Rugby Park on Monday evening due to an ankle injury.  

The 36-year-old looked on from the stands in despair as Tommy Wright’s side slumped to a painful 2-1 loss to their Championship rivals and a heavy 4-2 aggregate defeat.   However, the Dubliner, who was one of 14 Kilmarnock players to be released yesterday, admitted that he and his team mates could have no complaints about their fate this term.  

“It’s hard to put it into words, to be honest,” he said. “It’s a sore one. It’s the worst moment of my career. And that’s probably also the same for the rest of the lads.

“We’ve just not been good enough as a group of players. And it isn’t for a lack of trying. Sometimes trying isn’t enough. “Decision making, helping your mate out more, doing that little bit more, and that comes when the pressure’s on. And we just haven’t won enough football games.

“I’m gutted for the people who are involved at the club, directors, those who work here, fans, everyone. It’s just been a not nice way to end it. To go out in that manner is more upsetting.

“It’s always hard when you’re not playing. I’ve done everything I can to go out there and play. But I wasn’t able to. It’s never nice watching.”

Dicker helped Kilmarnock to finish fifth in the Premiership and then third when Steve Clarke, who left to take the Scotland job, was the manager. But he is optimistic that, with former St Johnstone manager Wright in charge, they can regroup and win promotion next term.  

“I don’t think I’m shocked in football,” he said. “It’s happened to bigger and better clubs. That’s how quick life can change, but it’s also football as you’ve seen in the past year. Everything can change in a heart-beat.

“The minute you think you’re alright, that’s the minute you start falling, start going downwards There’s good people here and this club will bounce back.

“It’s a great club, it’s got some great people who work for it, and I hope it’s back in the Premier League as soon as possible.”

Dicker continued: “It’s too raw at the moment. It’s easy to look at yourself. I’ve been here a long time. There are not many clubs these days you can get a connection with as a player because of the amount of clubs players can have. But Kilmarnock is a great club with fine people and I’m devastated for everyone.”