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Derek McInnes felt it was vital that Kilmarnock got back to winning ways after a double from Kyle Vassell helped them sink Livingston 3-1 at home.

The Rugby Park side had not won in the league since defeating Rangers on the opening day of the season but were relatively comfortable here as they moved up to fifth place in the table.

Danny Armstrong’s early goal was cancelled out by a Sean Kelly penalty but Vassell’s brace of headers left his manager a contented man.

McInnes said: “We needed to win. There was no getting away from that.

“I can sit here and go on about the positives – and there were some in the (other) performances.

“We have been good in isolated games and these teams – Hearts, St Mirren, Hibs – they are good sides. These are not gimmes.

“So there were a lot of games in this run we’ve done OK in – but I didn’t enjoy looking at the league table.

“Obviously we knew we could go fifth today and, while you don’t want to get too obsessed with the table when you’ve not played a quarter of the games, I like where we are sitting now.

“Let’s see if we can hang about there as long as we can now.

“We just needed to win. We spoke about it during the weeks as it’s hard to keep being positive when the wins were not coming.

“Today we ran hard, worked extremely hard all over the pitch and the physicality of the team was strong. That was really important.”

Livingston boss David Martindale was naturally disappointed, especially losing two goals to headers, one from a dead ball situation.

He said: “Take the scoreline away, the game went the way we thought it would, with set-plays playing a large part of the game.

“The first goal we should deal with a lot better down our right-hand side, although they did get a wee bit fortunate with a deflection.

“Kilmarnock had dominated us. Then we get the penalty and get back in the game but we get a kick in the stomach with their second goal.

“Our defensive line is terrible, Vassell gets a free header and is unmarked in our box going for a free-kick from a wide area.

“Our shape wasn’t great and in the one-against-one duels we got bullied a wee bit. Kilmarnock won more of their aerial duels and won more second balls than us.”