Chris Burke has backed Kyle Lafferty to fire Kilmarnock to safety.

The veteran winger knows all about the striker after playing with him at Rangers – and he knows what he can do.

Lafferty impressed during his first Killie start against Dundee United, but was denied a goal by the crossbar, Benjamin Siegrist and the the referee.

But Burke has tipped him to be key for the final run-in.

Kyle Lafferty

He said: “I worked with Kyle in my last six months at Rangers, trained with him a lot and he does have bags of talent and ability.

“It was just trying to get the best out of him. He’s been away in different places and sometimes it just doesn’t work for you.

“Not because of his fault but because of other reasons, such as the environment he finds himself in.

Chris Burke

“He’s back now and hopefully he is settled. He looks like he’s happy and when you’re happy, sometimes your performances are better. Since he came in, that’s what it’s looked like. He’s made a difference.

“He is a great character and brings personality to the group.

“That lifts the group, especially in a moment like this when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve seen that in training. You can see it in the game as well. He lifts others and gives them energy.”

Lafferty helped Burke’s corner on to Zech Medley for a 64th-minute leveller, the on-loan Arsenal defender making amends for having the ball pinched by Ian Harkes who teed up Adrian Sporle for Dundee United’s goal.

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Burke added: “Getting a goal from a set-play is good as the manager has been working on it from day one.

“We’ve got the benefits from that and hopefully we can score from open play soon. We’ve stopped that run, so hopefully people will stop talking about it. We have to build on it.

“I can’t say we are definitely going to stay up because I can’t predict the future. What I can say is there will be commitment until the last minute the ball is kicked in the last game.

“The energy and enthusiasm, the way we passed the ball, it didn’t look like a team that was down and out.”

It’s bottom-six opposition all the way now, with Ross County this weekend, Motherwell then the split.

Burke said: “It’s more exciting down the bottom than it is up the top. Now we can’t wait for Saturday.”