Derek McInnes insists Kilmarnock will not get too carried away despite one of their best starts to a season of the modern era.

In the Rugby Park manager’s own words, the fixture schedule looked “ominous” for Killie when it was released in June.

The Ayrshire side have impressively tackled the challenge head-on. An opening day Premiership win over Rangers was followed up by an away point against Hearts. They then only went and knocked League Cup holders Celtic out of this season’s competition at the last-16 stage. Killie have achieved all of this while barely conceding a shot on target, never mind a goal.

But it’s only a start. That’s the message coming from the camp this week ahead of the next task - a trip to Fir Park on Saturday - the result which will inform the manager of what his team is capable of come the end of the campaign.

“To beat a club like Celtic you have to do a lot right and I think Sunday just reinforced to the players that we can be a good side and beat any team,” McInnes explained. “The fact we’ve beaten both Rangers and Celtic can give the team so much confidence.

“But it’s important the players recognise that the qualities needed in those games have to be demonstrated time and time again. Motherwell will be a totally different challenge. We’ve played three teams who have been expected to beat us but now it’s two clubs going against each other of similar size and expectations.

“We’ve now got to go there and show we can continue getting the results we’ve had already against a team like Motherwell.

“Pundits and the press, it’s their job to make assumptions but I’ve always felt that until you’ve gone through the first two rounds of games and things settle down you can’t judge anyone that soon. Even if we’d lost the first three games you still couldn’t judge us at this point. What we have done is give a lot of optimism to the supporters. Hopefully, we can maintain that.

“I’m really pleased with how long we’ve been unbeaten now. It’s a continuation of our run at the back end of last year. Now this season we’ve won a couple of League Cup games on the road having won our last two away games last season. We’ve also drawn at Tynecastle so I feel we’re coming away from that away game narrative about how poor we were.

“We were criticised for that and rightly so but it’s important we try to back up Sunday’s result and performance with another big performance at Fir Park. It won’t get the same focus and attention but I’ll be looking for it. It will tell me a lot about what we’re trying to do this season.”

READ MORE: Kilmarnock scorer reveals manager's pre-match Celtic pressure call

McInnes has openly admitted there were large sections of last season he didn’t enjoy. Naturally, no one in football likes losing.

It has made the taste of success in the early games this term even sweeter. And he’s revealed that’s down to a stronger level of faith in his players.

He said: “You have to enjoy the moments we’ve had recently, I said that to the players. As professionals, you put a lot into winning a game. I’ve got really good staff here and we’ve put a lot of effort into making sure we have all of the details right.

“I feel there is a bit more certainty this season and I know what I am getting. I have a bit more trust in them playing their positions. Last season I thought we were very naive at times and a bit too loose. It is not a good thing as a manager when you don't know what you are going to get. But, the level of player we have brought into the club allows me to have a bit more certainty.

“We are not always going to win games, defeats will come, but we will make a far better fist of it this season, but it’s still early to be overconfident of that.

“We set out at the start of the season to improve our starting XI. We had enough at the same level and there was not a huge difference between all the squad. We tried to make as many positions stronger but also have that same level of competition. On our bench, we have a lot of boys who are used to playing and a lot of boys who are playing catch-up with their fitness.

“Competition is healthy, and motivation is good as we have a lot of players who were not playing regularly with their last club. They enjoy playing and winning games and getting pushed hard from the bench. 

“I’ve got a load of good young players who I’m really pleased with at the minute, there’s three or four of them not even making the bench. They’re closer to the first team than even they think. The team that starts sees what is behind them and is using it as motivation to keep the jersey.”

Killie will head to Motherwell fit and healthy with Kyle Vassell, Liam Donnelly, and Joe Wright picking up vital minutes in a bounce game on Tuesday. Corrie Ndaba is expected to be fine after some precaution regarding a knock. Innes Cameron also comes back into the fold.