Kilmarnock boss hails 'magic' Europa League berth for his side

Taking flight Derek McInnes celebrates their Europa League berth at full-time -Credit:Jeff Holmes
Taking flight Derek McInnes celebrates their Europa League berth at full-time -Credit:Jeff Holmes

Derek McInnes confessed he might not have the moves - but that didn't stop him from dancing a jig of delight alongside his players after securing a 'magic' Europa League spot with victory over St Mirren.

Kyle Vassell's close range finish late in the first half saw them over the line in Paisley, with the 1-0 victory securing fourth place for the Rugby Park side - and a berth in the second qualifying round of next season's Europa League.

It's a far cry from barely surviving relegation last term and sparked scenes of delight - and some questionable dance moves - in front of a 2000-strong Killie faithful as they soaked up the club's success.

McInnes 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!"

"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.

“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.”

The gaffer hailed his squad's efforts and said it was fitting that skipper Vassell was the one to fire them over the line.

He commented: "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 of him and Marley Watkins combined for the goal.

“From then on we didn’t need to be brilliant but we needed to be responsible and stand up to it.”

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