Daily Record

Vass is able to get Killie going the extra Kyle


DEREK McINNES has opened up on the massive role being played by inspiratio­nal Kilmarnock skipper Kyle Vassell on and off the park.

The Rugby Park gaffer insists the 30-year-old is a driving force for the squad as he leads from the front.

Vassell has delivered on the pitch since signing in January, netting four goals in 11 games this term.

But McInnes handed him the armband as well due to his influence on setting standards.

He said: “I made him captain once we got him signed on a new deal because No.9s are so hard to get. We saw how much he was enjoying it but we also saw how much he was respected.

“He drives the dressing room brilliantl­y. We’ve got a few senior players in there who are part of a sort of committee that keeps everything away from my door, really.

“I’ve always been quite big on that in that they run their dressing room and Vass is a huge driver in a lot of what we get on the pitch and off the pitch.”

McInnes, who still has free agent Gary Mackay-Steven training with his

squad, secured Vassell after his spell at San Diego Loyal.

The hitman has been a revelation and the boss added: “With him being out playing in the States, there is always that wee element of trying to get him up to speed quickly.

“I threw him in when he wasn’t probably ready and I just kept playing him because I thought the only way I was going to get him up to full speed was through the games.

“He came up with some very important goals and performanc­es, particular­ly towards the end of last season.

“There is no doubt that we were far better and a different animal when he was in the team.

“He is strong, he knows his way around a football pitch, he leads the line well. Even when he is not at his best, he is still a handful.”


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