Hamill wants to play it cool
Kilmarnock midfielder Jamie Hamill feels having players who know all about the Ayrshire derby can help their cause in the League Cup second round - but only if they keep a cool head.
Hamill is one of a number of Ayrshire-born players in the Kilmarnock ranks who are looking forward to locking horns with Ayr United at Rugby Park.
Goalkeeper Craig Samson is another while young players such as Chris Johnston, Rory McKenzie and Robbie Muirhead are looking to sample their first top-team derby.
Hamill was at the club when Killie knocked Ayr out of the 2009 Scottish Cup after a replay, one of only four competitive meetings this century, but he did not feature in the games.
He has faced Ayr in several friendlies but he too is eager to sample his first competitive action in the fixture.
The Irvine-born player said: "It's good to have a bit of local knowledge and know what the games are all about.
"There are a lot of players in the squad who have been to watch the game and they know what it's all about.
"But you have to play the game as if it's a normal game. It is really important that you don't get caught up in the atmosphere.
"But everyone is really looking forward to it, it's a big Ayrshire derby and they don't come around very often.
"You have to play with a cool head and hopefully we do that and come away with a good result."
Killie have people on the sidelines who know all about the rivalry with management team Allan Johnston and Gary Locke both former team-mates of Hamill.
Locke followed Hamill from Hearts to Rugby Park this summer and the midfielder feels his addition has been a huge boost.
Hamill said: "It's good to get Lockie in to help the gaffer. I've worked with him for years and he's great to have about the dressing room, and he knows his stuff as well.
"I played with the gaffer and Lockie for years at Kilmarnock so they know what the club is all about.
"It will be brilliant to have them at the side of the park for us in this game."
Michael Ngoo and Craig Slater could both come back after missing Saturday's win over Motherwell.
The pair trained on Monday after missing the game with ankle injuries.
Ayr welcome Martyn Campbell back into their squad after work commitments saw him miss the 2-0 win over Forfar on Saturday.
The table-topping Honest Men are brimming with confidence after three League One wins in a row, but player-manager Mark Roberts reckons they are second favourites to defeat their rivals.
Roberts said: "For us to do anything Kilmarnock need to have an off night and we need to be at our best.
"We are, however, in the fortunate position of being able to give it a go and play in the same attacking manner that we have all season as there is no pressure on us."