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Kilmarnock goalkeeper Sam Walker is steeled for the responsibility of leading the troops in a relegation fight after emerging from a hat-trick of survival battles earlier in his career.

The 31-year-old was Colchester’s first-choice keeper during three great escapes, including one where they only lost twice in their final 10 matches before sealing a late winner over Preston to stay up.

Killie are right in the mix at the bottom of the cinch Premiership, sitting just outside the danger zone in 10th ahead of Saturday’s visit of Motherwell,

Their home form is keeping them just above the bottom but they have only claimed two points on the road.

Walker said: “We had a patch in October where we went on a run and got ourselves up the league a little bit. We have proved we are capable of that. It’s just putting that into action.

“We have an excellent group, we have experienced guys who have been in situations like we are. The manager (Derek McInnes) is very experienced. We have got the people in the right areas to do what we need to do, it’s just a case of going out and doing it.

“There’s guys in the changing room who have been in this position. I have had several campaigns in League One with Colchester including two final-day survival jobs where we needed to win and got the job done on the last day.

“I pretty much had three seasons in a row clinging on to League One and we did it every time.

“So I understand the pressure that comes with doing what we need to do and I can use that experience along with some of the other guys to share with the younger players, particularly the loan players who are new to this situation.

“We definitely have more than enough in that dressing room both on the pitch but also in terms of our experience to guide the group and the football club through.

“We have proven we can put performances in and that we can bounce back from poor performances, as last week (losing to Hibs) was, so that’s what we are focused on doing.”

Walker helped Killie win promotion last season and does not want all their efforts to be in vain 12 months on.

“A lot of the times survival is more of a relief,” he said. “I definitely don’t want to take it to the last game of the season, I would like it to be done long before then, but if it needs to be then, as long as Kilmarnock Football Club are in the Premiership next season, then that is ultimately all that matters.

“I am used to dealing with that responsibility that you feel, particularly at this football club, where we worked so hard last season, everyone behind the scenes and on the pitch, it was a big, big collective effort to get the club back to the Premiership.

“So we are very much aware of our responsibilities as players to make sure we maintain our status.”