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Killie must secure top-six finish before dreaming of Europe - Sheerin

Kilmarnock assistant manager Paul Sheerin wants to wrap up a top-six finish as quickly as possible, and will only allow himself to dream of European football next season once that goal is achieved.

Killie will guarantee a top-half finish this season if they beat Hearts on Saturday, and either Hibs or Dundee fail to win. A draw would be enough if Hibs were to lose against Rangers.

“The message hasn’t changed," Sheerin said. "The aim is to try cement this place in the top six. We’re in the strongest position as it stands, and it’s up to us to make the most of that. It would be nice to see the job through and the sooner the better.

"If we can get ourselves in and among it, you’re going to have a shot to get into Europe. If we can do that it would be incredible, but we need to cement that top-six place first."

Sheerin also believes Killie's remarkable 5-2 win over St Mirren before the international break shows the mental fortitude present at the club.

“The players knew they had to give a lot more [at half-time], and took ownership of the situation, which is credit to them," he said.

"They had a point to prove, and once we got the first goal the players thrived off that momentum. It was an exceptional 20-minute spell.

“It’s always nice to go into an international break winning, because it becomes a long two weeks if you dont manage it. The turnaround was excellent, the boys’ attitude, desire and spirit that we constantly speak about was there in abundance."