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Manager Derek McInnes hopes Kilmarnock’s forward planning can provide an immediate boost after a second player signed a new contract this week.

Former Doncaster defender Joe Wright has followed striker Kyle Vassell in committing his future to the Ayrshire club for a further two years.

The deals are a sign that Killie are planning for a future in the cinch Premiership and McInnes hopes they can give the team a lift as they bid to get out of the bottom two when they take on St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday.

McInnes said: “It’s a good signing and sets in place what we are trying to do, getting players like Joe and Kyle Vassell signed this week is a huge boost for all of us.

“From this time last year when it was still up for debate whether we would be a Premiership team or not, we were a wee bit restricted in what we could do in terms of planning. We didn’t have that head of recruitment and a recruitment strategy.

“We suffered a bit for that and what we are trying to do now is get ahead of the game, get good players signed and in the building, and players that we want to see continue their careers in a Kilmarnock shirt.

“We can’t be talking to all the players at the minute because there is so much to consider but we are trying to make sure we have a semblance of a squad going forward for next season.

“I am delighted both lads wanted to hang about a bit longer. Both lads have talked about their affection and how much they enjoy it here but we want to enjoy it even better next season as a Premiership club.

“We are playing against a team on Saturday who are 16 points ahead of us. I want us to be that team next season, I want us to be 16 points better off and going into the last game before the split trying to get into the top six if we are not already there.

“For that to happen we need to make sure we have enough good, solid Premiership players in the building and I’m delighted the board see it exactly the same way.”

Wright missed the whole of last season after suffering serious knee and ankle injuries while playing for Doncaster in the final game of the 2020-21 campaign.

But he has bounced back emphatically to make 39 appearances for Killie so far following his arrival last summer.

The 28-year-old is confident he will continue his Rugby Park career in the top flight.

Wright said: “I think we’ve got plenty (of) quality in the squad. I back us to stay up and that’s hopefully what we will do.

“Discussions have been going on for a while and thankfully we have got something sorted.

“It allows you to focus purely on your games, you are not worried on where you will be next season.

“I am delighted the gaffer and the club have shown that faith in me to give me another two years and allow me to stay here and keep building on my performances.”