Kyle Vassell has seen plenty of young players with ability throughout his career. And Kilmarnock midfielder David Watson, who bagged his side’s late leveller against Celtic at the weekend, falls firmly into that category.

But what separates Watson from most is his willingness to work at his game, and his determination to do absolutely everything he can to make himself the best player he can possibly be.

It is a recipe for success that Vassell believes can lead Watson to the very top of the game.

“It’s truly up to him,” Vassell said.

“I’ll look after him and I’ll support him until the cows come home because he is such a great lad.

“He works so hard. He is out doing finishing with me every day and he really, really wants to be a player. He’ll keep kicking on.”

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In fairness, Watson isn’t alone at Rugby Park in his dedication, with Vassell giving an insight into the culture Derek McInnes has fostered at Killie that has contributed hugely to their impressive season so far.

“It’s all of them,” he said.

“I don’t know how they recruit. It started with Clarky [Craig Clark) and now Burkey [Chris Burke] has taken [them on] and all the boys are so hungry.

“They all want to learn. They are all out on the training ground longer than anyone else which is brilliant to see because I’ve been at clubs here that hasn’t been the case.

“You don’t actually have to push the boys. You just have to guide them and coach them a little bit and help them.

“Bobby Wales is the same, Aaron Brown is the same and I’m not mentioning some. They genuinely all work their tails off and that is the fundamentals of having a good club.

“I’ve seen boys with ability. Loads of them. And with hunger. Sometimes you have to tell them. You have to do this, you have to work hard. None of these boys here you have to tell them. It’s honestly a privilege to work with them.

“There are times they need to be coached a little bit or go on loan with the step up, but if we are talking about the younger boys, they do have the work ethic, they do have the hunger, they just have to learn the game.”

As well as the work ethic that McInnes has instilled in his squad, Vassell says there is a real belief within them too which was evident at Celtic Park, with the visitors showing no fear whatsoever as they went toe to toe with Brendan Rodgers’ side.

“He’s always believed in us and he’s put a belief into us to get the senior boys to push the younger boys to believe that this dressing room can achieve do something this year," he said.

“We came [to Celtic Park] full of confidence. We’ve beaten them twice this year. We haven’t necessarily got the result [there] but I feel like that performance just shows where we are.

“It’s anyone. With Rangers at times we felt like we could have got a result there if I’d scored a chance early on – maybe it would have been a different game. Even still, we’d chances late on.

“We truly believe to can go toe to toe with them in the league. The depth we’ve got just now just helps us even more.

“We’ve got such a good dressing room. The gaffer has brought in boys and it’s the job of the senior boy and mine as captain to get the boys to believe and want to work hard for each other, And they do that.”

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The contrast in the mood of the Killie players and their Celtic counterparts then was stark after the game at the weekend, with the visiting squad and their supporters leaving on a high as they look forward to the remainder of the campaign with European football and an extended Scottish Cup run in their sights.

“It’s been brilliant,” Vassell added.

“We know where our budget is. It is nowhere near these boys and it’s not even necessarily near the top six because we know what the other clubs pay in the league.

“But we’re just fighting. We’re a team who rolls our sleeves up and if we can get goals on the counter like through Davie Watson, then happy days.

“We work hard, make it difficult for teams. That’s what we are good at. Then we will try and score goals from set-pieces and other ways, but first and foremost, we are hard to play against and we showed it again here.

“Let’s just go one game at a time. We’ve still got a really tough run-in to come and then we have got the split.

"First and foremost, let’s look at getting into the top six. Once we achieve that, then we can look forward.”