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Dom Thomas pushing for Kilmarnock starting berth after signing new deal

Dom Thomas has told Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio he can provide the attacking spark he is looking for after signing a new contract at Rugby Park.

The former Motherwell player has signed a one-year extension to his deal, which was due to expire at the end of this season.

The 23-year-old has scored once in nine appearances under Alessio but has not started since the opening game of the campaign against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

But the midfielder believes he is pushing hard for a starting place after returning to Rugby Park in the summer filled with confidence after hitting 14 goals in 26 games for Dumbarton on loan.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership visit of Ross County, Thomas said: “It’s great to sign a new deal. I’m enjoying it so it’s now about me getting in the team and keeping myself there and hopefully the club can go on and do good things again.

“I have been enjoying training, I have been getting game time and hopefully now pushing for a start and I can help the team out.

“Going on loan to Dumbarton was a great step for me. I enjoyed playing football every week and getting a few goals, which always gives you confidence. I had a good pre-season myself, worked hard when I was away form the club and came back feeling fit and fresh.

“The next step is getting in the team. It’s just getting that break in football, maybe an injury or someone is off form, and when you get that chance you need to take it.

“I feel I can give that different side to the game going forward, that creativity, maybe a goal or set one up. I feel I can bring that to the team and I have expressed that to the manager, and I think he has seen that in all the games I have played. So hopefully now it’s time to play.”

Killie have kept clean sheets in five of their last six matches but their need to improve in the final third was underlined in their drab goalless draw over 120 minutes against Hibernian in midweek, which ended with a penalty shoot-out defeat.

But he has warned Thomas that he might have to be patient.

“I’m pleased for Thomas because he worked hard in pre-season and he has good skills,” Alessio said. “Of course he has to improve a lot and learn a lot.

“I will decide what the right moment is for him to start. He is a good technical player but he is young and this is his first year in the Premiership. He is good but step by step.”