Liam Donnelly admits he is keen to stay on at Kilmarnock.

The midfielder is out of contract at the end of this season, having joined from Motherwell last summer.

By his own admission, the campaign hasn’t gone as well as the 27-year-old would have hoped both on a personal and collective level.

But the Northern Ireland cap hopes to solve his future off the back of helping Killie to Premiership safety in the coming weeks joining the likes of Kyle Vassell, Joe Wright, and David Watson in committing their future to the club.

“Only recently I’ve shown what I’m all about and what I can do,” Donnelly explained. “There have maybe been glimpses but not consistently.  

“In the first part of the season, I had some niggly injuries which don’t help. It’s been nice getting a run of games now and making sure the injuries stay away.

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“I’ve got to terms with coming to a new club, working with a new manager, new teammates and even playing on a different surface. I think that was maybe a factor with a couple of the injuries. Hopefully, I’ve shown what I can do now. I need to make it a bit more consistent.

“It is a huge boost to me when the manager selects me to play in these big games. It is a boost for your confidence as well.

“Hopefully, I can repay that faith by keeping the performances high and helping make sure we stay up.”

On his contract situation, he revealed initial talks have taken place. He said: “We have spoken about it, but it is not something we are concentrating on right now given the situation we are in.

“I have enjoyed being here although I would have hoped the season would have gone better. I would like to be in a stronger position than we are right now.

“But we just have to make sure we are in the league next season and then we will speak again and see what happens.”

Derek McInnes’ side welcome St Johnstone to Rugby Park on Saturday knowing that a win would be a massive boost to their survival hopes.

Should they get the three points, Killie would leapfrog Steven Maclean’s side into ninth heading into the final two matches of the season.

Last week’s 2-0 win over Livingston was comfortable in the end, but a tough first-half was endured by all in Ayrshire, with the tension palpable inside the stadium.

And Donnelly is calling for cool heads both on and off the park to help Killie pick up back-to-back wins for the first time in the league this season.

He said: “After last week’s result, we wanted to bounce back again. Get back to winning ways, especially at this point in the season and the position that we’re in.  

“It was important to get the three points. We need to keep it going, especially in the way that we played in the second half going into the last three games.

“There’s no panic from us during the week anyway. I know it can be difficult on a Saturday. At the weekend there, in the first half, the performance wasn’t the best, and the fans were also getting a bit uneasy.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced players in the team. We maybe just need to speak to one or two of the younger boys, a couple of the lads who would maybe let that affect them a bit. Just remind them to keep calm.  

“We showed that in the second half. The early goals lift the pressure and let everyone relax a bit. We started to play our own game.

“You could feel the tension from the crowd. It crept into a few of the players on the pitch. Everything seemed quite rushed and tense. We said at half time we needed to make sure we stayed calm and focused on our own performance.  

“I know it’s probably difficult sitting in the stands and watching at times, that comes from us on the pitch to make sure that we’re performing how we should keep everybody happy and give ourselves the best chance.  

“It’s good that we didn’t let it get to us and we showed that in the second half. Hopefully, it’ll be a bit calmer this Saturday. It should give us confidence, certainly on the pitch.

“You can see how important the fans can be for us when things are going well. It gives us a huge boost.” 

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It would be fair to say that in the previous encounters between Killie and Saints, there have been some contentious decisions made by the officials and VAR which have gone against the Ayrshire side.

Last time out in Perth, Donnelly had a goal chopped off after Stevie May flopped to the deck, while James Brown’s red card for his tackle on the midfielder was reduced to a booking following VAR’s intervention. There was of course the non-award of a penalty after Andy Considine’s blatant handball at Rugby Park.

Donnelly insists Killie need to focus on hitting their levels to ensure there’s no need to be concerned about external factors.

“We won’t look back at those incidents and any of the decisions that have gone against us,” he said. “I think there’s been more that’s gone against us than for us in terms of VAR. Thankfully we had one for us in the weekend past with the penalty.  

“We know that we can beat the vast majority of teams in this league on our day. We just need to go into the game with the confidence that we can get the win.  

“We should probably try to be a bit more relaxed and calmer from the start of the game this time, instead of just the second half, but we’ll just focus on ourselves.  

“If we do what we need to do, play the way that we know we can, then we shouldn’t need to worry about anything going against us.”