Derek McInnes delighted by Kilmarnock’s battling win over Ross County

By Sports Desk April 06, 2024

Derek McInnes was delighted after his side overcame the elements to defeat Ross County and extend their advantage in fourth place.

Kyle Vassell blasted in his 10th goal of the season on 64 minutes to settle a game in which the wind played havoc.

The Rugby Park boss admits it’s an encounter that won’t live long in the memory but insisted his players should savour a crucial three points.

“We knew from the early part of the week that come three o’clock Saturday, we were going to get 60mph winds,” he said.

“It is far from ideal for players to go out and perform, I think it was tough for both sets of players.

“We spoke about the need for concentration, it’s the type of conditions that can make players look silly and you can make mistakes – to get a clean sheet really pleases us.

“I didn’t think there was a lot in the game, I thought we had better control.

“Sometimes these are the best ones, 1-0, getting the job done, playing with a bit of responsibility, real concentration – we weren’t brilliant but we didn’t have to be.

“You don’t really enjoy that type of game but you enjoy the aftermath of it and so we should”

Killie are now in the driving seat for a European place having stretched their lead over St Mirren in fifth to five points.

With defeats for all three teams directly below them in the table, it was a good day for McInnes and his team – something he hopes can become a familiar feeling.

“It has been a good weekend and we could do with a few more like this one to secure that European spot,” he added.

“With six games to go, I still think there’s improvements in us.

“For us to get those improvements, the motivation levels need to stay high and it was high again today.”

Ross County boss Don Cowie felt another lapse in concentration cost his side dearly at Rugby Park.

The Staggies were managing the game well before conceding shortly after the hour-mark.

Vassell’s shot appeared to creep under the grasp of George Wickens and into the net for what proved to be crucial winner.

County are now four points adrift in the relegation play-off position after St Johnstone defeated Hibernian at Easter Road.

“The most frustrating thing was not managing to get something from the game,” Cowie said.

“It was obviously difficult conditions, very testing. Just like the majority of the away games, we managed to stay in the game and be involved in it, then we somehow find a way of conceding a goal.

“That gives the opposition that big lift, we’ve spoken about it in the dressing room, it’s the concentration levels.

“Over the period since I’ve come into the role, I feel like we’ve defended really well in the majority of games, it’s just these wee moments we are switching off.”

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