Derek McInnes hails ‘incredible’ work rate of Kilmarnock players

Kilmarnock have only lost twice in their last 15 matches, with both defeats coming against Rangers.

Derek McInnes hails ‘incredible’ work rate of Kilmarnock players SNS Group

Derek McInnes hailed the “outrageous” running statistics that have helped Kilmarnock on course to a top-six finish this season.

The Ayrshire side’s narrow 2-1 defeat by Premiership leaders Rangers at Rugby Park on Wednesday night was only their second loss in 15 matches, the other coming at Ibrox at the start of the year.

With five fixtures remaining before the split, Killie sit in fourth place in the table, nine points ahead of seventh-placed Hibernian, who have played a game less.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to sixth-placed Dundee, McInnes praised his squad’s efforts so far this season – highlighting the work of forwards Kyle Vassell and Marley Watkins in particular – as he looked for Killie to get back to winning ways.

“I think what has to be said is the work rate of my team is incredible, it really is,” said boss McInnes.

“It’s what it has to be so we are not asking the players to do anything they are not capable of but the willingness starts with (Kyle) Vassell and (Marley) Watkins at the top end of the pitch.

“Their running stats every week are outrageous in terms of what they’re giving us and they set the tone for the rest of the team.

“Matty Kennedy and Danny Armstrong the other night, again big numbers in terms of output.

“And it needs to be that for us when you take on teams and we’re lucky to have good senior players.

“My captain Kyle Vassell leads by example, he is so important to us. But we’ve got a great set of lads who work extremely hard for everything we get.

“The performances so far, the biggest fundamental has been a sheer work rate to try and make sure we are far more competitive every week and that pleases me, regardless whether it’s playing a team at the bottom of the league or playing a team like Rangers. It’s always been there.

“We don’t have time to dwell on Wednesday night. I am looking for a bounce to go into this game.

“It is too big a game for us to have disappointment hanging over us. The disappointment was raw and real after the other night which says a lot, and testament to what the players have done this year.”

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