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Gros hopes to be recast in lead role after effective cameo

FOR a bit-part player, William Gros contributed quite a bit to his side's draw at Firhill last week.

A striker who likes to play up front on his own, the French 21-year-old has had the misfortune of sharing a dressing room with Kris Boyd this season.

Still, coming on as a substitute and earning the penalty which led to Kilmarnock's winner will have done his chances of playing consistent first-team football no harm at all. It must have been heartening to get some involvement, as Gros revealed he had been - and still was - desperate to go out on loan in search of a regular game. You get the sense, too, that it is important to the youngster to feel like the main man wherever he is playing - surely an impossibility while Boyd is at the club.

"I was pleased with that [winning the penalty] because for a long time I didn't play," he said. "Sometimes I was feeling that was not fair, I just have to deal with it. I felt like I deserved to play but the manager, he makes a choice and picks some other guy, some other player. Boydy is a striker and is scoring a lot and so it's hard. I spoke to him [manager Allan Johnston] to go on loan but it didn't happen. I stayed here."

Vitalijs Maksimenko, the young Latvian defender, could force his way into the team after signing on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, but Gros will hope his contribution last week has also earned him a spot in the starting line-up. Kilmarnock today take on an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side still elated after last week's surprise victory away to Aberdeen.

David Raven, the Inverness full-back, insisted yesterday that there was no point in pulling off one great result without following it up with another the next week. "With some of our so-called big names missing, Aberdeen probably thought they were going to steamroller us," Raven said. "After about 10 minutes, we thought: 'yeah, there's a result here.'

"It definitely kicks us on again because we were back to where we had been before, I felt, on Saturday.

"After a good win like that, we have to make sure we follow it up with another result. Anything else, detracts from the win at Pittodrie.

"The gaffer has a few decisions to make. We have players coming back now [Gary Warren and Ross Draper] but Danny Devine and Liam Polworth are playing out of their skins."

Raven only made a handful of appearances in October, November and December. He lost his place with a minor injury, which unfortunately coincided with his side's spectacular spell of form.

"It was tough - it is probably the hardest time in your career when you're not playing," he admitted. "But you learn a lot because you have to dig in, do extra work and stay as fit as you possibly can."

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