Ayr United manager Lee Bullen says he wants his side to ‘play without fear’ ahead of their derby match against Kilmarnock tomorrow night.

The Honest Men travel to Rugby Park for the second time this season, having lost 2-0 there earlier in the season, in an evening kick off in the Scottish Championship.

In their warm up to the big derby match United hosted Dunfermline Athletic at the weekend in huge a six pointer at the foot of the table.

Both sides went into the match looking to break away from the relegation zone and steer clear of trouble towards the tail end of the season.

It was also the first time Bullen came face to face with his former side where he spent many years during his playing days.

The Pars made their ex-player pay early on when they took the lead at Somerset Park.

Steven Lawless’ corner was turned in by Col Donaldson to open the scoring for the away side.

The Honest Men levelled not long after when Lewis Martin’s backwards header looped over his own goalkeeper and into the back of the Pars net.

That was how the two teams went in at the break and despite chances for both sides in the second period there was nothing to separate them come the full time whistle.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Bullen said: “I thought we lost a sloppy first goal but after that we got Dunfermline camped in.

“In the second half, I thought we were under a lot of pressure but handled playing against the wind a lot better than Dunfermline and created a lot of good chances.

“So, if you talk solely about the performance it was strong and I was quite pleased with it.”

Bullen is keen for his side to build on the weekend’s performance ahead of their derby day as he wants his players to express themselves tomorrow night.

He said: “I want the players to play with freedom, play without fear of making any mistakes.

“For them not to worry if they make any mistakes, to go out and express themselves the best they possibly can.

“If we do that then we will have a good game against Kilmarnock.”