Derek McInnes admits Kilmarnock’s victory over St Mirren felt like a big moment in their season.  

The Rugby Park side secured their first three points away from Ayrshire all campaign with the 2-0 win. 

Liam Donnelly and Christian Doidge struck in the first half as the visitors made their dominance count. 

“St Mirren have been brilliant this season and we knew there was a lot on for them today and we stressed to our team that it was important we went into the split games on the back of a strong performance,” McInnes said. 

“I’m gutted it’s taken us so long to win away from home but if you’re going to start winning it’s good to start now going into these post-split games. It’s good for the players to have the confidence to beat a top-six side here.  

“Not many win here. I can’t wait for the head-to-heads now and I’m looking forward to having a scrap. The performance today will have done us no harm but more of the same is required. Hopefully, we can continue it. 

“It was a significant date today. It was the day we beat Arbroath last year, and we spoke about that before the game, how hard we’ve worked, how we feel this is a Premiership club. Bar one year we’ve been a Premiership club for 28 years it’s our responsibility to ensure that’s the case. We met the responsibilities last year by winning the title, using our experience, taking responsibility, and looking people in the eye.  

“We didn’t want to be skulking away from here on the back of another away defeat, and have everyone more anxious and worried. People of our persuasion will go away with a spring in their step but there’s so much work to do. 

“We did it by doing a lot of things right, by using our experience, taking responsibility and meeting the demand, and looking people in the eye. Getting a job done is really rewarding.”

READ MORE: St Mirren 0 Kilmarnock 2: Visitors end away hoodoo as Saints secure top six

Meanwhile, it may not have been done in style, but nothing can take away from St Mirren achieving the top six. That’s the message from manager Stephen Robinson.  

The Buddies were second best at home to Killie on Saturday. But it didn’t matter in the end, as Dundee United’s win over Livingston ensured that the Paisley side finished in the top half of the league for the first time in their history. 

While it may have seemed a little strange to be doing a lap of honour despite the defeat, Robinson insists his players put in more than enough graft over the course of the campaign to secure the feat. 

He said: “We’ve earned the right over 32 games to have an off day. We had an off day today but the points are good enough to be a top-six side. So, I won’t be taking anything away from this group of players.  

“They’ve worked under difficult circumstances; the club has been stripped right back down to the bare bones and now we are trying to build it up again.  

“So you won’t hear any negativity from me. It’s been a terrific 33 games. That’s as poor as we’ve played in the 33 games but obviously, the other 32 must have been very, very good.  

“For me, it’s my biggest achievement. I’ve got to cup finals and worked at the European Championships and got into the last 16.  

“But this has been the toughest challenge of my career. In terms of dealing with the finances and what I believed the club was going to do before we were hit with news of losses. 

“We have had to strip the club bare and everyone stuck together. This group of boys has been amazing. 

“We have a lot of talented players but, more importantly, we have 22 good people and it’s nice to see the good guys do well in football for once.”