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Burke: Easy decision to extend Kilmarnock deal

Chris Burke says the decision to sign his new one-year deal with Kilmarnock was the easiest he has made.

The 35-year-old attacker, who joined Killie from Ross County in summer 2017, was  due to be out of contract this summer but has impressed as Steve Clarke’s side have moved up to third in the Ladbrokes Premiership to secure guaranteed back-to-back top-six finishes.

The former Rangers, Cardiff and Birmingham player is “delighted” to extend his time in Ayrshire.

Burke told Kilmarnock TV: “I said before I am happy to be here and be part of this time for Kilmarnock.

“It was probably the easiest contract I have signed in my whole time as a footballer.

“It definitely feels like the perfect fit to me.”

Burke, capped seven times for Scotland, insists a good pre-season has underpinned his performances in this campaign.

He said: “The first season I signed here I didn’t feel I was an asset as much as I would have liked to have been. It was difficult to get in.

“The team were doing very well, they finished fifth, so there was no reason why I should be playing because the people in front of me were doing ever so well.

“But when I signed again (last summer), the manager said it would be level pegging in pre-season and that I just needed to show what I had to offer and he still believed I could offer something.

“I know that if you don’t believe in your own ability then what chance do you have?

“I knew that if I got myself to the same fitness levels as everybody else then I would have a really good chance of playing.

“In my position, you have to be super fit.

“Wide players these days have to defend as well as attack and you have to play midfield as well.

“You need good fitness levels and I knew that once I got that base, there was no looking back.”

Kilmarnock reached 59 points last season and they currently have 54 with games away to Hibernian on Wednesday night and at home to St Johnstone at the weekend before the split.

Burke said:  “Targets are crucial and you need to try to achieve your targets and once you do then you look to the next one and that for us is to try to get more points than we did last year.

“We are on course to do that and it would be great to do that  before the split, it would be fantastic.

“But it is two tough games to come. We have to first look at Hibs who are in great form as of late.

“The manager (Paul Heckingbottom) has come in and it looks as if they have got going and they are probably pushing for top six and above, so it will be a difficult challenge.”