Chris Stokes is raring to go as he is eyeing his first league start in almost four months.

The Kilmarnock captain hasn't featured in the Scottish Championship since the Ayrshire side's 1-0 win away to Queen of the South on matchday two of the season.

He pulled up with a hamstring injury against Hibs at Easter Road and has been recovering ever since.

But now the skipper has two matches under his belt, including 90 minutes away to Hamilton Accies in the SPFL Trust Trophy victory on Tuesday night.

And with a trip to Inverness on Friday night, he is aiming to get himself back on the park as the Rugby Park men bid to retain top spot and keep up their unbeaten away league run.

He said: “It’s good to be back and playing.

“It was nice to get a bounce game beforehand, that definitely helped to be fair.

“The game against Hamilton was good too, they played a strong team so there was a good competitive edge to it."

Stokes knows that Killie are in for a rough ride in the Highlands having already watched Billy Dodds' side win 1-0 at Rugby Park.

And he has admitted that it's about time they start beating teams round about them in the table or they won't fulfil their promotion ambitions.

He said: "It’s important to start winning games against teams round about us, you’re not going to get promoted beating only teams in the bottom half.

Kilmarnock captain Chris Stokes goes off injured during the Premier Sports Cup match between Hibernian and Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock captain Chris Stokes goes off injured during the Premier Sports Cup match between Hibernian and Kilmarnock

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“We have struggled against teams around us, especially at home. But away from home we have done alright, so we need to get that going for home games too.

“You want to be winning every game, if we had beaten teams around us we’d be sitting a lot more comfortable at the top.

“At this stage of the season it’s just about winning as many games as you can, we need to try and establish a lead at the top."

The 30-year-old added: “Inverness seem a good side, they had a blip in terms of form after having a lead at the top.

“They are going to be a team fighting for promotion and we kind of knew that to be fair.

“It’s going to be a good game. We know what they are about, we have played them already."

Killie will be without Jason Naismith who is waiting for an operation while Callum Hendry is nursing a foot injury but is likely to be available.

Ahead of the clash, boss Tommy Wright added: “It hasn’t been good enough so far, we have had six games against the teams around us and only have four points.

“All those points have come away from home.

“Have we deserved more points? I think we have but you have to go out and get them.

“We have made mistakes and been a bit unlucky, losing games 1-0, but that’s one thing we need to change.

“If you pick up points and get wins against the teams around you, it makes your life a lot easier.

“We saw a few weeks ago what getting three wins in a week did. Any team that gets a run, if you can string three, four, five together it sets you up.

"If you look at the league position, we're doing fine but I always want us to do better.

“We had a points total in our mind and we are still on course for that. If we get that then someone will have to do something special to get by that.”

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