Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes says "obsession" with Kyle Lafferty has to end

Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes insists the “obsession” with Kyle Lafferty has to be over as he gets on with life without the Northern Ireland international.
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The 35-year-old striker made a surprise exit from the Rugby Park club on transfer deadline day.

Lafferty had recently returned from a 10-game ban imposed by the Scottish Football Association for making a sectarian comment on a night out, which was filmed and uploaded on social media.

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The former Rangers, Burnley, Hearts and Sunderland attacker was later followed out of the club by attacker Oli Shaw, who was sold to Barnsley for an undisclosed fee, leaving Killie short of attacking options.

Northern Ireland international Kyle LaffertyNorthern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty
Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty

Ahead of the Scottish Premiership trip to Livingston on Saturday, McInnes said: “It was between the club and Kyle, I have said that enough. It wasn’t something we were anticipating.

“We were trying to get one or two in, I wasn’t expecting anyone to leave so the timing of that as a manager is disappointing.

“But I respect what’s happened, the decision has been made and we move on.

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“There can’t be – I think there is this obsession with Kyle Lafferty, listen, it is done.

“He had a 10-game ban so we didn’t really have his services a lot of the time this season anyway and we now need to continue.

“I wish Kyle well, I really like him, I am really fond of him and I will continue to keep in touch with him but his career is with someone else and I need to focus on Kilmarnock and the challenges we’ve got.”

McInnes explained Shaw’s sale had already been signed off before news of Lafferty’s departure emerged.

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He said: “In the context, I wouldn’t have allowed Oli Shaw to go to Barnsley last week. It wasn’t announced until Monday at the request of Barnsley.

“So it looked a bit strange and supporters can maybe raise their expectations, seeing Kyle and Oli leaving, thinking there must be something coming in. That is natural to think that.

“The Kyle thing was unfortunate, the timing of it all, and we move on from it.”