Derek McInnes wants Kilmarnock to aim for more than just Premiership survival

The Ayrshire side won the Championship last season.

By Press Association Published: 17 June 2022 - 10.14am

Derek McInnes is determined to ensure that Kilmarnock will be about more than just survival in their return to the cinch Premiership.

The Ayrshire side won the Championship last season at the first time of asking with a dramatic late victory over nearest challengers Arbroath at Rugby Park and they are back among the big boys.

The 2022/23 Premiership fixtures were revealed on Friday morning and McInnes discovered his side will host Dundee United – who finished fourth last season – on the opening day before a trip to Rangers and a home game against champions Celtic.

The Killie boss is keen to ensure his side make a positive impact on the league.

He told Sky Sports: “We probably need some Premiership experience but we are encouraged by what we have got in the building.

“We have some good players who have points to prove, a lot of hunger about them. We have to tap into that. As a newly-promoted team sometimes you can get that bounce and that excitement.

“We were 28 years in the top flight and we found ourselves out last season. It wasn’t where we want to be so you have to appreciate what you have got.

“But we also have to make sure we are there to set about the Premiership.

“We don’t want to go up there and just survive and to be confident to say that and do that we have to recruit well.

“Once we get the squad complete we can say with far more confidence what our intentions are but our intentions are not to be involved in relegation.

“Most teams can find themselves down there in any given season if recruitment is not right, you get injuries, you lose a bit of confidence.

“It is important we remember how we finished last season, the scenes at Rugby Park, the huge crowd. The support is there, we have to just try and bring them with us as much as we can and by winning games in the Premiership and having a team that they want to come and watch every week is part of that.

“So we have got a lot of work to do but we are also encouraged by what is here already. It is a great club to work for but we also want to be successful at the same time.”

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