Cup hero Kenny Shiels on verge of new deal

KILMARNOCK chairman Michael Johnston has revealed he is on the verge of agreeing an extended deal with Kenny Shiels.

Johnston had opened talks with the Rugby Park manager and his assistant Jimmy Nicholl about adding to their current one-year contract before the League Cup Final.

But Hampden success over Celtic for the club’s first trophy in 15 years is speeding up negotiations.

Johnston believes the majority of the pieces are in place for the duo to stay and hopes to have things secured in the near future to keep Shiels and Nicholl for at least season 2012-13.

He said: “I spoke to Kenny a few weeks ago about extending his contract.

“We have already had that discussion and I am hoping that Kenny and Jimmy will be in place for next season and there is no reason why it shouldn’t go on beyond that.

“Things, of course, can change in football but I certainly believe Kenny has the right strategy and approach to the game and that he is very interested in developing young players. That was his background in Northern Ireland.

“He spent three years heading the youth academy at Tranmere and also worked with the Irish youths.

“He knows what needs to be done and, with his work ethic and the hours he is prepared to put in, I firmly believe he can deliver for Kilmarnock.

“There might be a more difficult discussion in wages now but I am happy to incentivise with bonuses for more success!

“But seriously, although we have not signed anything on the dotted line yet, I am sure Kenny is happy with what we are doing here and he knows he has my full support.

“He has always had that and we’ll carry on the good work. We’ll enjoy the moment after Hampden and address business matters soon.”