Robbie Deas insists he’s already a better player just two months after joining Kilmarnock.

The 23-year-old left Inverness at the end of his contract in the summer and was quickly snapped up by Derek McInnes.

The powerful centre-back had several options when deciding upon the next move in his career, but he chose Rugby Park as the right destination for him - and it already feels like home.

So far, so good for Deas. He’s been part of Killie’s backline that has yet to concede a goal domestically in the Premiership campaign with an opening-day victory over Rangers followed up by a point at Tynecastle. The Ayrshire side also knocked League Cup holders Celtic out of the competition at the last 16 stage last week.

Deas has praised the manager for creating a culture at the club that players can thrive in and want to be a part of, admitting it’s one of the best and most exciting squads he’s been involved in.

“Pre-season was tough,” he said. “We had tough games and we didn’t get as many results as we’d have wanted during pre-season. 

“We’ve then had three of the toughest games you could ask for at the beginning of the season and we’ve thrived on that. What the manager has built here, it’s exciting to be around and the changing room is brilliant, it’s one of the best I’ve ever been in.  

“As a player, I already feel like I’m getting better with each game. It’s massive for me. After I signed that paper I knew it was going to be the right move. But even more so after the first three games.”

READ MORE: Derek McInnes & the growing level of trust in Kilmarnock team

He continued: “We had to do our homework on Celtic, Rangers and Hearts because they’re very good teams. They’ve maybe not been at the races, but I think a lot of the credit goes to us. We kept them quiet and that’s down to our hard work in training. 

“We’ve got such a strong team, we all push each other in training every single day. That’s the most important thing, we know that if one is unable to play or one steps in then there’s going to be quality all of the time. It’s down to hard work and wanting to fight for each other.

“There’s loads of big characters and some really experienced players—all round great lads, to be honest. The manager has built it. I’ve only been here for a couple of months and I already feel at home which is a credit to the club and the other boys. 

“Everyone knows wee Danny Armstrong is full of beans, he’s brilliant. Vass (Kyle Vassell) the skipper, he’s been outstanding. I can’t pick any individuals out, they’ve all been fantastic. There are standards. I’ve had to find out the hard way mind you with a few fines here and there. But that’s all part of being in a dressing room and I think that’s brought us all closer together so quickly.” 

The defender admits that being an ex-Celtic youth player, he did have something to prove against his old employers last week. Stuart Findlay also came through the ranks at Lennoxtown, while Lewis Mayo was at Rangers growing up.

However, he insists that wasn’t at the forefront of his mind, with Deas keen to stress that it’s only performing well for Killie that matters now.

He added: “I was hurt after the Scottish Cup final last year with Inverness. We got beat 3-1. To come here and achieve the result and play in the way that we did, it’s massive. We now need to continue that form into this weekend.

“We probably did all have a point to prove. At the end of the day, we’re at Kilmarnock now, which is a huge club.  

“The task was to get through the League Cup tie and into the draw for the next round, which we did. It’s always nice to get one up over Celtic and Rangers but that wasn’t in the back of my mind. It was all just about the task at hand, beating Celtic.”