Derek McInnes reveals Kilmarnock star who inspired his 'magic' St Mirren moment as they secure Europa League shot

Derek McInnes admits his Eurovision dancing might get nil points but his Kilmarnock side get top marks for having all the right moves.

The Rugby Park gaffer joined in with the special scenes at the end of his men’s hard-fought 1-0 win at St Mirren that confirmed fourth spot in the Premiership – and a guaranteed two ties in continental competition next season. Kyle Vassell pounced in the first half and Killie held off a spirited push from Saints late on to spark a party in the sold-out away end. McInnes, who even did a jig, said: “I hadn’t even thought about doing it but I saw Ndaba doing what he does. He’s got all the moves – I haven’t!

“It was good to have that moment with the players. When we got top six there were no real celebrations at Tynecastle. The players were actually a bit flat and we had to give them a reminder they had done well. Then we were sitting in our house last Saturday when Europe was confirmed ahead of Rangers on the Sunday. We didn’t want to give St Mirren any encouragement so it was a big effort and it was nice to have that celebration. It was magic. Even talking about the Europa League and fourth place is magic to hear. You have to enjoy these moments and then look to improve again.”

McInnes hailed his squad’s huge efforts this term – and he admitted it was fitting Vassell was the hero that got his side over the line. He said: “I was delighted we managed to win such an important, pivotal game.

“It was quite fitting that my captain got the goal that cements that fourth spot. He’s led the line brilliantly. It’s by no means a team of individuals but he’s hardly trained for two months and is due a hernia operation.

“He’s so important we couldn’t afford for him to go under the knife so it was fitting our front two [with Marley Watkins] combined for the goal. It was a great moment for us and from then on we didn’t need to be brilliant, but we needed to be responsible and stand up to it.”