The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

McInnes: Loss of talisman Vassell cost us

- By Darren Johnstone SPORT@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Killie boss Derek McInnes.

Derek McInnes admits Kilmarnock missed captain Kyle Vassell as they fired a blank in yesterday’s narrow defeat at Hibs.

The Rugby Park side went down to Josh Campbell’s first-half effort in a game that saw them register only one shot on target.

Striker Vassell failed a fitness test in the morning, while McInnes’ options in attack were also hit by substitute Innes Cameron suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up.

McInnes said: “We were just looking for those moments of quality and Hibs had that kind of individual quality to separate the teams.

“We missed Kyle Vassell. He’s such a talisman and he could have been the difference for us.

“He’s the one that leads the line and normally comes up with big moments.

“Innes Cameron felt his hamstring in the warm-up. We were already restricted after Vass failed his fitness test.

“Hopefully Innes is not too serious. But it did restrict our options.

“To win at Easter Road you have to come up with those moments.

“But we were in the fight. We were in the game.

“If we can keep doing what we are doing and keep searching for those better moments of quality we will be fine.”

McInnes admits Boyle’s moment of brilliance in setting up Campbell to score was the one major difference between the sides.

He added: “Hibs have got those individual­s that even when they are not having the best team performanc­e they have players like Boyle, Dylan Vente, Elie Youan and Jair Tavares who can come up with a big moment.

“We should have done better in dealing with the initial move when Boyle got on the half-turn.

“He’s the one that makes the difference and his part in the goal was decisive for them.

“The game was decided by a big moment with Boyle at the heart of it.

“But we are disappoint­ed we didn’t manage to take anything from a game I felt we could have.

“We were just looking for those moments of quality.”

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