Shiels to put faith in youth

PA Sport
Kenny Shiels
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Kenny Shiels

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels will take a novel approach to contract talks with his chairman by warning of short-term pain.

Shiels, who is due to meet chairman Michael Johnston on Friday to continue negotiations, wants to introduce more young players to the first team next season.

Killie have had a successful season by winning the Scottish Communities League Cup and are seventh in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League ahead of Saturday's visit of Inverness.

But the Northern Irishman claims he can improve the club's performance and finances in the long term by blooding youngsters next term.

Shiels, who faced a huge rebuilding job last summer, said: "We have to have long-term plans. If you look at what we have done this season in relation to budgets, we have had an unbelievably successful season.

"If you look at what we started with in June with basically no players, it's a fantastic achievement by the club."

But Shiels added: "If you have got a long-term plan you might have to sacrifice short-term gains and clubs in the SPL that don't have long-term plans, they are profiting at the moment but that is not sustainable. That will take a hit.

"If I get the chance to implement my long-term plan, we'll take a (short-term) hit."

Killie have no new injuries for Saturday's game and striker Dieter van Tornhout could return after missing Sunday's victory over Hibernian with an upper leg strain.

"DVT is closer, he trained today and I think he could come into the reckoning for Saturday," Shiels said.

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