Kilmarnock winger has 'positive' contract talks as he hails Derek McInnes for reviving his career

Kilmarnock's Gary Mackay-Steven and manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group
Kilmarnock's Gary Mackay-Steven and manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group

Gary Mackay-Steven says he’s open to returning to Kilmarnock next season and admits he’s already held ‘positive’ contract talks.

The veteran winger had to wait several months for his first start in blue and white stripes but he made the most of it at Den’s Park as he bagged his first goal and produced a fine display in Killie’s 1-1 draw at Dundee.

The result brought the curtain down on a remarkable campaign in which the Rugby Park side finished in fourth place and qualified for European football next term.

The 33-year-old insists he’s delighted to have overcome his Hearts injury hell after a year out prior to joining Killie and confessed he’d be more than happy with a return to Ayrshire.

He said: “We’ve had positive talks. I’ve got a great relationship with the manager and I’m sure something will get sorted in the next wee while.

“For now, I’m just happy to have played my part on the final day and be back fully fit.

“He (McInnes) gave me a lifeline when I had nothing and nowhere where I could train and play after more than a year out. I’ve slowly built myself up and I’m happy to be part of a squad that’s doing well and a changing room that’s great. I can’t thank him enough.”

He added: “Thankfully that’s all behind me and I’m back feeling physically good which is great.

“Finishing fourth is a great achievement for Kilmarnock but it’s honestly no surprise with what we’ve got in the dressing room and everyone fighting for each other. It’s been a successful season for the boys and the club’s in a great place.”

Gaffer McInnes heaped praise on the former Aberdeen man and admitted it has been a challenging campaign for him, saying: “I’d like to keep him and we’ve had positive conversations.

“Obviously it’s been really difficult for him with the form of Danny (Armstrong) and it’s hard to find somewhere else in the team for him.

“His work rate in training is great and he looks like a boy who’s just enjoying being fit after his injury difficulties at Hearts.

“Yeah, he’s not getting any younger buy my eyes tell me everything. He can still effect games and he’s still got that quality that a club for Kilmarnock should always be searching for and hopefully he’ll jump on board again.”

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