Angelo Alessio is still the whipping boy for some of Kilmarnock's recent failings but Harvey St Clair holds sympathy for his former boss.

The Italian brought St Clair to Rugby Park on loan for a spell before he was eventually sacked with his players unable - or unwilling - to buy into his methods and tactics on the training pitch and during the real thing.

Some Rugby Park stars even publicly criticised the ex-Juventus and Chelsea assistant manager for his techniques and others have continued to stick the boot in even two years after he left. But St Clair reckons he could have got his ideas across if he was given the time and the trust to do so. "I think in Italy it's a different culture around football so Angelo's training methods were quite foreign for some of the Scottish players," the Venezia striker said.

"They were very different and I think the different beliefs about the game and how you should train, what their ideas about matches are, it was just difficult for him.

"At one point we were third in the league and he was doing well so it was very unfortunate that he got sacked. I think the month before he was manager of the month so that shows how quickly football can change. It was unfortunate but it was a different style to what the lads were used to.

"For me at the start it was difficult but doing something for so long you get used to it. It's not a problem for me, really, and I've seen his style done over here [in Italy]. In spells our coach [Paolo Zanetti] is similar in a way. Obviously styles are different, too. In Scotland it's more physical but over here it's more tactical and not so physical, so there are different styles.

"But it was difficult for him, the players weren't picking up the results they wanted. And it was difficult to replicate what Steve Clarke did before him, he always had a big challenge ahead of him. Obviously you don't want unrest in the changing room or training. You want to be competitive but for everyone it was difficult. For me I wasn't playing and it was hard at times."

St Clair may not be considered a Killie great by any stretch of the imagination but he believes his time in Ayrshire was hampered by injury. He knows he didn't produce the quality he feels he has and that supporters didn't see the best of him in Scotland.

That hasn't stopped him keeping track of Killie's fortunes and, to that point, he was gutted to see his former club drop into the Championship after a disaster season. "I was quite young and had a few niggly injuries," he added. "I don't think I showed what I was capable at Killie.

"I was young, I made some mistakes and didn't show my best. Now I'm in a winning team with a winning culture, we just got promoted. I didn't feel at my best at all physically or mentally, it was a season just to learn from and try and move past. I had a few good times there, playing at Celtic Park was a good experience, but overall it didn't go how I wanted it to. That's football, you have to learn from what didn't go well and improve on it.

"The fans were really good, they helped and pushed the team on. It's a nice club and I only have positive things to say about them but they maybe didn't see me play very much so we didn't have as good a relationship as we could have.

"It was unfortunate they went down this season, I think they should be higher up in the Premiership. I still speak with some of the boys sometimes, they were a good group of lads."