CARETAKER boss Paul McDonald will take charge of Kilmarnock for the first time when they take on Partick Thistle on Saturday, it is understood.

The Killie youth academy chief has been put in charge of first-team matters while the Rugby Park board step up their search for Lee McCulloch’s replacement.

McCulloch agreed to step down as manager following last month’s loss to Ross County - a result that leaves Kilmarnock bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table without a win.

The international break has given the club additional time to find a new boss but with an appointment still some way off McDonald will be in the dugout for this weekend’s trip to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

The former Hamilton defender will be assisted by the club’s under-20s boss Andy Millen and striker Kris Boyd.

Director Billy Bowie is leading the hunt for McCulloch’s successor and has already met with former West Brom and Reading manager Steve Clarke.