Derek McInnes wants Kilmarnock to “motor on” towards the split and clinch a top-six spot that he would have described as “utopia” before the season started.
On their return to the cinch Premiership last season, Killie escaped the relegation zone when four wins in their final six fixtures saw them finish 10th, ahead of Ross County and Dundee United.
McInnes strengthened in the summer and also in the January transfer window and they go into the home game against bottom side Livingston on Wednesday night in fourth place, with just one defeat in 10 in all competitions.
Looking back at pre-season expectations, the Rugby Park boss said: “Top-six would have been utopia for us, considering where we were last year.
“We had a tough season, it was arduous at times, not enjoyable at times but we started to show a flavour of what we could be in the last quarter of the campaign.
“It was clear that we needed to improve but I felt that with the squad we put together in the summer – you are never certain or totally sure – we were encouraged that we would make a far better fist of it and despite some injuries to key players I think we have been able to put together a consistency of performance.
“But I still think there is a lot more we could be doing better and we have to strive for that.
“We have a target for what can get us into the top-six, we are still a bit shy of that, we still have work to do. No one is going to give us it, we have to earn it.
“We are in a decent place. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that we have had one defeat in 10 games, we have had a few draws amongst that right enough but we feel we have been really competitive this season.
“At this stage of the season it is the team that can find top form that can be the difference.
“As pleased as we have been with what the lads have given us – and absolutely delighted with that – I feel can we get a wee bit more.
“Can we be the team between now and the split that can really push on and motor on? Because we have put ourselves in the position where we are far ahead of where we were last year.
“One defeat in 10 is great but we want to add three points tomorrow night against a team who are fighting for their lives and who don’t make it easy for any team.”
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