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Kilmarnock boss Paatelainen heavily linked with Finland job

Kilmarnock manager Mixu Paatelainen is again being linked with the vacant Finland national team job.

The 44-year old Helsinki-born tactician is wanted by the Football Association of Finland to replace recently departed Scotsman Stuart Baxter who has had his position filled by interim bosses Olli Huttunen and Markku Kanerva since he was sacked in November last year.

Paatelainen this week turned down the opportunity to join English Championship club Scunthorpe United and acknowledges that there has been speculation linking him with the Finnish job.

But he has made it clear that he knows nothing about the role at this stage and is focusing on Killie's clash this weekend and the remainder of their season.

"Being linked with Finland has not affected my focus, if it did it would have affected me since last year," he said. "Speculation is always there and you just have to live with it.

"As far as I know, the Finnish FA will make their decision when the time is right for them. Scunthorpe wasn't to be for me and I think people thought because I'd made that decision it must be for something else and came to the conclusion it was Finland but there are other reasons.

"There has been plenty of speculation about the Finnish job. That started last autumn and then it went quiet and it has resurfaced again because of the Scunthorpe thing. I'm only focused on Kilmarnock and concentrating on a very important game we have coming up with St Johnstone.

"A point is enough for us to secure a top-six place. It will be very difficult for Inverness and St Johnstone to catch up but if they do then they fully deserve it but we want to get our top-six place."

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