Derek McInnes hails his 'team of the year' Kilmarnock side after final day draw

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group

Derek McInnes suffered a double dose of VAR disappointment in Dundee on the final game of the season - but that didn’t stop him from declaring his Kilmarnock side as team of the year.

The Rugby Park side could relax heading to Den’s Park knowing fourth place and a spot in next season’s Europa League was secured. And the near 1700-strong travelling fans lapped it all up with sombreros and beach balls on show.

They rounded off their successful campaign with a 1-1 draw. Gary Mackay-Steven opened the scoring on 24 minutes after Fraser Murray has strolled 50 yards up the park before the first VAR complaint from McInnes as Dundee levelled before the break.

Scott Tiffoney broke the offside trap to tee up Luke McCowan for the equaliser.

Killie were the better side after the interval with Murray at the heart of things. He saw his cross headed off the bar by Marley Watkins before he clattered the woodwork himself with a free-kick.

With the game in danger of petering out, VAR complaint no.2 occurred six minutes from time as Stuart Findlay was shown a yellow card - only for VAR to intervene in a case of mistaken identity with Robbie Deas promptly dismissed for a second yellow.

And Dundee passed up a golden chance as the game ticked into injury time as McCowan blasted wide from the penalty spot after Dara Costelloe had been fouled by Joe Wright.

Afterwards, McInnes said: “We’re heading straight to our player of the year awards and we’ll enjoy the night.

“We’ll hand out our individual awards, but the award for the best team and best squad in the country this season is hands down my team.

Matty Kennedy celebrates with Kilmarnock fans at full-time -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group
Matty Kennedy celebrates with Kilmarnock fans at full-time -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group

“That’s nearly six months in the league and we’ve only lost to Rangers and Celtic. That says so much about the players.”

As for the VAR incidents, he added: “I couldn’t believe VAR never turned it (equaliser) over. I thought there was real daylight between Tiffoney and our player.

“Certainly from the angle I’ve seen and the analyst had, Tiffoney looks offside, so it’s a real shock.

“I didn’t think Robbie Deas was a sending-off. I thought he won the ball and he’s adamant he’s won the ball. It’s compounded by the referee booking the wrong player, but I still don’t think it was a yellow card which is the crux.”

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