Harkins targets improvement

BY foxsports • September 22, 2012

Kilmarnock midfielder Gary Harkins was not happy with his debut season at Rugby Park and has set himself a target to improve his end product.

Harkins impressed many observers in an attacking midfield role after signing from Dundee and helping Killie win the Scottish Communities League Cup, but he was not quite so pleased with himself.

The 27-year-old hit two goals on the way to the Hampden triumph over Celtic but only scored once in the SPL.

Harkins netted a brilliant solo goal against Motherwell earlier this season from an advanced midfield role and Paul Heffernan's broken collarbone has put more responsibility on his shoulders.

But he appears to be his own harshest critic as he prepares to return to the starting line-up for Saturday's SPL visit of St Mirren.

"I put the pressure on myself," the former Blackburn trainee said. "I had a disappointing season last year for myself. I thought I had started this season a lot better and then daft head knocks slowed me down a bit.

"But I'm looking forward to getting back into it and hopefully scoring a few more goals.

"Personally I didn't score enough goals or create enough last year, and I'll hopefully do more this year.

"I did okay but as a player you always want to do a bit better and that's what I have set my sights on this year."

Harkins could replace Borja Perez in the side, with the Spaniard struggling with a groin strain. That could see him linking up with Cillian Sheridan, who is set to make his home debut.

Harkins said: "He (Sheridan) had a great season last year at St Johnstone. He has looked really sharp in training.

"It will be good to get playing with him and create a few goals for him and he can do the same for me if I'm lucky.

"He's very quick and strong and he's a good footballer, the sort of front man you want in your team.

"All strikers are confidence players and once they get one or two they fire goals in, and hopefully that will happen with Cillian."