Kyle Vassell believes Kilmarnock are ready to make their presence felt at the “right end of the table” next season after they secured their cinch Premiership survival on the last day of a challenging first season back in the top flight.
The 30-year-old has loved his time at Killie since initially joining in January on a short-term deal, so much so that he recently agreed to a two-year contract extension keeping him at Rugby Park until 2025.
Vassell is hugely excited about the future after notching his sixth goal of the campaign in Sunday’s campaign-ending 3-1 win over relegation rivals Ross County in front of a buoyant home support.
“I have two more years of this and hopefully we can get better as a club and get up the other end of the league next season,” said the striker.
“I knew we had what it takes to stay up, but you never know in football. They say it averages out over the season and the teams that are down there and the ones up the top deserve to be where they are.
“But you get games like St Johnstone, where we had a goal disallowed for something I’d never seen before then we had a penalty not given.
“I genuinely believe we never had much luck for a few months, but we got through it and made sure we didn’t rely on luck and that our performances were there.
“We got a great win last Wednesday at Dundee United and another one against Ross County.”
Asked if he expected Kilmarnock to kick on under Derek McInnes next term, Vassell said: “Absolutely. That’s why I’m staying, because I believe in what he’s trying to build. I want to be part of what he’s building.
“You see the fans, they were amazing against Ross County, from the start. The second half was probably one of the most enjoyable, even after their goal, because the fans were singing everyone’s name and the atmosphere was so good for us as players.
“If we can get as many of them in the stadium next season we will kick on. A day like that gives you a glimpse of what can happen but it’s on us. We have to play well to make them want to come. We have to get them in the stand.
“If we take that on board in pre-season and into the beginning of the season and make sure we’re at the right end of the table, I’m sure even more will come because the fans are there.”