SHIELS: KILLIE ARE CLUB OF THE YEAR
Kenny Shiels believes Kilmarnock should be recognised as the "the club of the year".
The Rugby Park outfit almost dropped out of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League in 2010 but completed their recovery and rejuvenation on March 18, when they won the Scottish Communities League Cup for the first time by beating hot favourites Celtic 1-0 in the final at Hampden.
Shiels' side missed out on a top-six finish in the SPL but are battling to hold on to seventh place and take on Aberdeen at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Asked by Press Association Sport how he would sum up the season to date, the Kilmarnock manager said: "I think we have been the club of the year, when you look at where we have came from.
"What you have to do when you are summing up how a team has performed is look at what their inheritance was at the beginning of the season.
"When you are signing players from Yeovil, Scunthorpe, York, Luton, non-league, and bringing them together and you are seventh in the league with two games to go and you have won a cup - and beaten one of the Old Firm in the final, which is unheard of - the answer to the question is quite obvious.
"I think we have done fantastic, that hasn't been acknowledged as much as it should have been but we know about it.
"We know how well we have done and that's all that matters."
Asked if he would feel the same way regardless of how the final two SPL games went, he replied: "Yes, and why not?
"I don't see how anyone could think any different. How could they when we were being tipped for relegation?
"In the sack race I was favourite to lose my job, and Terry Butcher (Inverness) was second.
"People forget it was less than two years ago that Kilmarnock were fighting a relegation battle in the last game of the season against Falkirk.
"These things should be remembered."
Meanwhile, club captain Manuel Pascali claimed Killie's cup victory led him to sign his new three-year deal - even though he missed the historic day at Hampden with a broken leg from which he is still recovering.
The 30-year-old defender said: "I will be here for the next three years, which will make it seven years in total.
"We started to talk about a new contract around November but the 18th of March made my decision final.
"After what we achieved that day and seeing so many supporters being very nice to me, my wife and family said 'you can't leave this', and I agreed.
"I will try my best to have another day like that."
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