Stuart Findlay believes an increasingly rounded Kilmarnock side will go into the cinch Premiership game against St Mirren on Wednesday night with growing confidence.
The 2-1 win over St Johnstone on Saturday thanks to first-half goals from 18-year-old midfielder David Watson and 33-year-old striker Marley Watkins – Saints substitute Nicky Clarke pulled a goal back in the second half – took Derek McInnes’s side into fourth place in the table, a point above the Buddies.
Killie are unbeaten in four matches and although their away league form this season has not been great – one win in nine – Findlay noted the side’s different qualities and the encouraging results so far.
The 28-year-old defender, on loan from Oxford, said: “We’ve won big games this season and that stands us in good stead.
“However, it’s not about winning important matches – it’s about winning consistently.
“Obviously, we haven’t won every away game but we’ve won at Aberdeen and we haven’t been beaten in three of the others but that’s where the consistency comes in.
“We know that, on our day, we can take anyone in the league. We’ve shown that by beating Celtic twice and beating Rangers. We also gave Hearts a really tough game at Tynecastle and they’re the top three teams in the Premiership.
“So we don’t need to fear any opponent when we’re on our game. Our displays have mostly been good this season, although in certain games we’ve had to show different characteristics.
“For example, in the second half of the most recent win over Celtic it was all about our high-tempo press. We nullified them and then ran over the top of them.
“In the first half against St Johnstone on Saturday we showed our attacking prowess, which we don’t really get enough credit for.
“Then, when they came back into the game after the break we showed a real grittiness to hold on to the three points.
“You need different qualities in different games and if you’re going to have a successful season then you need all of those things put together for the team to click.”
Findlay held back from speaking directly about finishing high enough for a European spot.
The former Philadelphia Union player said: “It’s too early to look at what you want to do with this season. The manager has said we should be a top-six team and, if you are there, you’re in touch with the European places.
“This isn’t me saying that we’re not looking towards qualifying for it but the big thing for us has been to establish ourselves in the top half of the division which we’ve done so far.
“That’s the only way we can look at it but if things keep going our way and it starts to point in that direction we can review that towards the end of the season.”