Manuel Pascali signs new Kilmarnock contract

Pascali and chairman Michael Johnston announce the new contract
Pascali and chairman Michael Johnston announce the new contract

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels is delighted to retain the services of Manuel Pascali as part of a vital triumvirate in his squad.

The Italian was secured on a new three-year contract before kick-off as Kilmarnock lost 2-0 to St Mirren.

"That's fantastic news for us getting Manny," Shiels told BBC Scotland.

"He is one of the three quartermasters that we have and we have to get them signed, Garry Hay and James Fowler being the other two."

The 30-year-old Pascali, who joined Kilmarnock in 2008 after leaving Parma, missed the defeat at Rugby Park through injury.

But Shiels views the defender as a vital part of his team's spine along with versatile pair Hay and Fowler.

"It's important we get them on board," said the manager.

"To help with the development of young players, your senior players are very important."

Shiels had not yet settled negotiations over his own contract.

"I'm working on that one, but we must get the players tied up and then we can look at that," he said.

Shiels was upbeat despite the defeat by St Mirren and he picked out the performance of his midfielder son for special praise.

"I must say out boys deserve so much credit because of the way they performed," he said.

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Interview - Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels

"Chasing a game, you see many teams try to hump it, but we tried to use invention.

"Dean Shiels missed a penalty, but he was outstanding. Some of the passes he made and the creativity he showed, he ripped them open at times.

"They had two players on him then had three players on him.

"But you can't legislate for the way we defended in the first half."

The Buddies' win takes them to within a point of Kilmarnock in the race to finish seventh in the Scottish Premier League, but Shiels thought his side had the quality to stay ahead of their rivals from Paisley.

"St Mirren made a great contribution to a great football match and it was just disappointing that we ended up losing," he added.

"For the last hour, we had control of the game.

"We are in pole position. We were the more imaginative of the two teams and showed more invention and it augurs well for the future.

"I am happy with the progress."

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