Kilmarnock secured a vital victory over St Mirren on Monday night, their first three points in eight attempts. In the torrential rain in Paisley, the Ayrshire outfit came out 1-0 winners thanks to a late Liam Millar strike.
It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, but that matters little to the Killie faithful and Steve Clarke. The result puts them within one point of Aberdeen in third and three points clear of Hearts in fifth.
The result highlighted how important one defensive star is to them. Stuart Findlay played another blinder at centre-half, picking up the man of the match award in the process.
It was a terrific performance from the young defender, once again proving his undoubted potential.
Is Findlay a potential Scotland candidate?
In almost every appearance the defender brings his A game. He’s been rock solid at the centre of Killie’s defence, appearing 23 times so far this season in the Premiership. He’s made several notable contributions to his team this term, most notably a last minute winner against former employers Celtic at Rugby Park in October.
More importantly, Findlay does his main job efficiently. With excellent ability in the air, the defender wins the majority of his aerial duels. Even when his team are on the back foot, his ability to make lung-busting recovery runs is outstanding.
His reading of the ball is good for his age too. At only 23, Findlay would be forgiven for perhaps being naive defensively. That’s not a worry for him though as every through ball he is faced with he cuts out almost immediately.
Given that he’s only at a young age, and this is the first club he has been a mainstay at, Findlay has plenty to learn. That’s a frightening prospect for opposition attackers as he’s already one of the more composed defenders in the Premiership.
A Scotland call up surely awaits Findlay if he continues to develop in this way. He’s came on leaps and bounds since joining the Rugby Park side from Newcastle.
If his path keeps following an upward trajectory, it’s hard to think of what he’ll be like in a couple of years time. There aren’t may centre-backs from Scotland with as much potential as Killie’s bright spark.
Findlay has been immense for Steve Clarke and he is one for the present and the future. Killie must do all they can to fend off any inevitable interest in one of their star attractions.