McInnes turnaround should be recognised - Sheerin

Kilmarnock assistant manager Paul Sheerin has hailed the impact of boss Derek McInnes after leading Kilmarnock from the Championship to the brink of European football.

When the former Aberdeen manager arrived at Rugby Park in January 2022, there were fears the Ayrshire side wouldn't make a rapid return to the top flight.

Having secured promotion and steered the club to save safety last term, Sheerin believes his long-term colleague deserves recognition for his work.

“The has gaffer continually built squads season after season to compete at the top level of the Scottish Premiership,” he said.

“He’s proven that again this season. I’d be surprised if he’s not recognised at some stage.

“There’s a feel-good factor (amongst the fans), we can’t get away from that, but we’re not daft enough to not know that it can turn quickly.”

Fourth-placed Kilmarnock host Hearts, who can wrap up third, on Saturday.

If Killie win and sixth-placed Dundee lose to Celtic on Sunday, McInnes’ men can finish no lower than fifth, which secures football in European competition come the summer.

“We’ll continue to set targets and Europe’s the biggest one for us now,” said Sheerin.

“To achieve that off the back of where we were at this stage last season would be excellent for the club.

“Habits being bred in football is huge. If you manage habits and get into a way of winning games and getting about your work properly, that certainly helps.

Sheerin admits he was “slightly” surprised that no Kilmarnock players were selected in the PFA Scotland Premiership team of the year.

“Obviously you sit here from a biased point of view and there’s certain players who have shown good numbers and players you think probably could’ve been recognised,” he added.

“But you’re understanding there’s a lot of good quality in Scotland and these are all opinions.”