Kyle Lafferty believes the heat of battle will bring the best out in him as he vowed to go to war in a bid to rescue Kilmarnock’s survival fight.
The Northern Irishman has been named April Premiership player of the month after making an incredible start to life at Rugby Park.
The 33-year-old has hit 10 goals in just nine appearances since his March arrival, helping to breathe fresh life into Killie’s relegation scrap.
But the pressure on Tommy Wright’s team has ratcheted up again following last week’s defeat to Motherwell. With just three points now separating last place Hamilton, Killie and Ross County, there is no room for error as the campaign comes down to the final two games of the season.
But former Rangers and Hearts ace Lafferty cannot wait.
“To be honest, I absolutely love it,” said the Kilmarnock forward, whose side face St Mirren next Wednesday before their final-day shoot-out with Accies.
“The more pressure that is on me, then the more I thrive on it. I’ve done it with Northern Ireland and I’ve done it with clubs I’ve played for.
“Hearts is the one that stands out the most. I was up there with everyone expecting me to get the goals and I ended up with the highest tally I’ve ever had in a season.
“Truthfully, the more pressure that’s on me the more I intend to produce. The manager has brought me in to give the team a lift, to get results and score goals. Performances and results have picked up, we went six games without losing.
“Unfortunately other teams around us have been picking up points as well. So we find ourselves in a position now where we need to pick up maximum points from the final two games.
“If we get relegated, we’ll have let everyone down – the fans, the staff, the people at the club. We don’t want that black mark on our CVs.
“So I’m going to try my best, we’re going to be going to war in these last two games, fighting for every single ball.”
Kilmarnock will be hoping Lafferty can rediscover his spring kick. The former Ibrox ace made himself a hero in Govan by netting title-winning goals three years running.
However, Lafferty knows his recent glut will count for nothing if Killie fall through the Premiership trap door.
He said: “I don’t know what it is about the spring. A lot of people say to me I always come alive this time of year.
“I get chances and put them away. Everything I touch right now is going in. Hopefully over these next two games that can continue.
“Obviously getting 10 goals means I’m delighted for myself. But they won’t matter and no one will remember me getting those 10 goals or however many I get if we don’t stay in the league.
“That’s what I came here to do and we have two massive games coming up in the space of five days. It is cut-throat down at the bottom of the table but first and foremost we have to concentrate on ourselves. We can’t let our minds slip elsewhere and worry about other results.
“It was a disappointing performance and result against Motherwell but we can’t let that affect us because we have been playing well and creating chances.”