Kilmarnock teenager Kristoffer Ajer understands transient nature of football

February 17 2017, 2.05pmUpdated: February 17 2017, 5.17pm
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Kristoffer Ajer vowed to shrug off the loss of manager Lee Clark as he declared himself already accustomed to the transient nature of football.

Clark brought the 18-year-old Norwegian – and 25 other players – to Rugby Park but this week left for Bury, just four games into Celtic defender Ajer’s loan spell.

But the teenager has maturity beyond his years and previously experienced a similar situation, when the man who took him to Celtic, countryman Ronny Deila, left before he had even moved to Scotland.

He said: “Of course Lee Clark did brilliantly for me and the rest of the boys here. In the few games I have been here he has taught me a lot and been really good to everyone.

“I have only positive things to say about Lee Clark and I wish him all the best in England.

“Everyone in the dressing room was surprised, we didn’t know anything, but that’s how football is. Managers go and players go. I’m used to it.

“This is football and I have to cope with this but there is no drama, we have two really good trainers here that can manage this club without a problem.”

Assistant manager Lee McCulloch and first-team coach Peter Leven will take the team for Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Aberdeen and possibly beyond, and Ajer is more than happy with that arrangement.

“Lee is a brilliant guy and I have learned a lot from him,” he said of the former Rangers captain. “I have done a lot of extra training with him and Peter and I can see him managing this team.

“Continuity is good for the group, especially with a lot of loanees being here for a short time.

“The most important thing is the game, Aberdeen won 7-2 on Wednesday (against Motherwell), which is a brilliant result. It will be a tough game but back at home we know we can take three points.”

Ajer has been one of Clark’s most impressive signings on the evidence of his first four matches, and the versatile defender is benefiting from receiving coaching from two clubs.

“I’m really happy with what I have done here, Celtic are happy with what I have done,” he said. “That’s important for me. I get messages after every game with positives and negatives from the game.

“They (Celtic) watch the game and see what’s good and bad, that’s good for me. I’m in a really good place right now, I get game time and they look at my games and see what I can do better.

“I have a lot of extra training here so it’s brilliant.”

On Sunday, Ajer will come up against Celtic team-mate Ryan Christie, who has also started his loan spell in convincing fashion.

Christie has two goals in three appearances including a sublime finish against Motherwell.

“I saw another good friend of mine, Ryan Christie, did well this week so that’s good,” Ajer said. “But I hope he doesn’t play as well as he did on Wednesday. It was an amazing goal, he is a good player.”



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