Derek McInnes has hailed "a brilliant achievement" after Kilmarnock secured their place in the Scottish Premiership top-six with two games to spare.

However, the Killie boss isn't wanting his squad to stop there as he targets European qualification for just the second time in 23 years.

The Ayrshire outfit currently occupy fourth place, and sit two points ahead of St Mirren and six in front of Dundee - who have played a game less, behind them. 

Seven fixtures remain of the 2023/24 league campaign and McInnes knows there would be a sense of disappointment if Kilmarnock didn't go on to secure European football for the first time since 2019 given the position they are in. As it stands they would enter the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League next season.

Up next domestically is 11th-placed Ross County, who visit Rugby Park on Saturday fighting their own battle at the foot of the table. McInnes admitted his men enjoyed last weekend's celebrations but has urged them to remain motivated throughout the season run-in by winning football matches. 

He said: “We enjoyed Saturday, we have enjoyed it since. I think it is important that the players get some recognition for their work and it’s good to secure top six with two games to go before the split. It was a brilliant achievement by the players.

“But as the week goes on you start to prepare for another game and we are looking for more now, we are looking at what’s next and thankfully we have an opportunity where – if we do our jobs the way we’ve done it over the last few months over the next few months – then we have the chance of maybe getting the club into Europe.

READ MORE: Kilmarnock eager to clinch top-six place as they prepare for Hearts

“If we don’t make Europe then there will be a wee twinge of disappointment where there shouldn’t be, but by the same token it (possibility) is there.

“The top three have their own positions sorted. Fourth spot is the only position we can get for Europe. Fifth might be another option for us but we will try to secure that fourth spot and to do that we are going to have to do a lot of good work between now and the end of the season.

“We are going to have to win more games and Saturday gives us another chance of that. I’m not asking my players to do anything different.

“I want us to improve between now and the end of the season if we can and a huge part of that is keeping the motivation, keeping the fires lit, keeping the energy in the team, because if the motivation is there I feel we have a team who can win games.”