Sheerin: McInnes deserves to be in running for manager of the year 

The Kilmarnock assistant boss says he would be surprised if McInnes is not in the running for the award.

Kilmarnock assistant manager Paul Sheerin has praised the job Derek McInnes has done at Rugby Park and insists he deserves to be recognised when the end of season awards are handed out.

The Ayrshire side are currently on track to secure European football with five games to go after a strong campaign.

They host third-placed Hearts on Saturday with a chance to cut the gap to Steven Naismith’s men to eight points and potentially move further ahead of fifth-placed St Mirren.

Killie are eight points ahead of the Saints and ten points ahead of sixth placed Dundee with only 15 points left to play for.

The top five will all take part in Europe next season meaning a win this weekend would go a long way to guaranteeing a place in the qualifiers.

Speaking on Wednesday, Sheerin said: “We know how difficult Saturday will be but the sooner we can secure European football for next season the better.

“It would be huge for us, last season going into the split, we were right in the thick of it and looking in the wrong direction and we managed to battle through that and show good form in the last few games.

“Then we get a chance to strengthen in the summer and we had an aim to be in or around the top six and the position we find ourselves in now is a huge achievement for the club.

“The players have worked hard to achieve the targets that we continue to set them, Europe is the biggest target for us now and to achieve that after the position we were in at this stage this last season would be massive.”

The PFA Team of the Year was revealed at the weekend with four players from Celtic, three from Rangers and one each from Hearts, Dundee, Motherwell and Aberdeen, but none from Kilmarnock, which surprised the assistant manager.

Sheerin said: “Obviously I sit here from a biased point of view and there are certain players that have showed good number and you probably think they could have been recognised but you are understanding that there is a lot of good quality in Scotland and these are all opinions and our opinion would be pretty biased.”

When asked if he believed McInnes had done enough to be in the running for the Manager of the Year gong he said: “Definitely, the gaffer has continually, between Aberdeen and now Killie, built squads season after season to compete at the top level of the Scottish Premiership and I think he’s proven that again this season.

“So I’d be surprised if he wasn’t recognised at some stage.”

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