Ibsen Rossi hopes to make most of Kilmarnock home crowd

The defender will play in front of fans for the first time on Monday.

Ibsen Rossi hopes to make most of Kilmarnock home crowd SNS Group

Zeno Ibsen Rossi is looking to make the most of a difficult situation when he plays in front of the Kilmarnock fans for the first time.

The 20-year-old would have played his first season of first-team football fully behind closed doors if Killie had managed to avoid a Scottish Premiership relegation play-off.

His debut in front of supporters ended in disappointment when Dundee beat Killie 2-1 in front of 500 of their fans at Dens Park on Monday.

The Ayrshire club’s stay in the top flight is as precarious as it has been for the last 28 years.

But Ibsen Rossi knows if they come through the tie they can get the chance to celebrate with their fans after an unusual introduction to first-team football during his season-long loan spell from Bournemouth.

Ahead of Monday’s Rugby Park game in front of 500 fans, the centre-back said: “This year has been full of great experiences for me. If there was one thing that I wish was different, I wish there had been fans all season, I think everybody does.

“The pressure of the games is still there regardless of the fans, I think anyway, because playing in the Scottish Premiership every game is important, and there’s lots at stake.

“But the fans bring a different element. Sometimes on the pitch you don’t notice as much but it does change the game a little bit, so it will be a good experience.

“I have always heard how good the fans are up here in Scotland.

“It will be the first game with the fans this season so hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.

“I’ve met the odd fan out and about around the stadium and I have managed to have a few conversations with them – socially-distanced of course. Obviously not as much as I would have liked.

“Even though they have not been in the stadium, we have felt their support from the outside and it will be nice on Monday if we can feel that a bit closer.”

Tommy Wright was brought in in February to save Killie from the drop and he had turned around their form before the defeat at Dens Park.

It will be a case of mission accomplished even if they do it the hard way and Ibsen Rossi has his eyes on finishing on a high.

“If it was the start of the season we wouldn’t have said this is how we wanted it to go,” he said.

“But we have to look at it now and think this is the best thing we can do and I am sure it would make all the fans out there happy.”

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