Kilmarnock: Revival has gone to 'another level', says Kirk Broadfoot

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Watch the goals as Kilmarnock beat Connah's Quay Nomads
Europa League first qualifying round: Kilmarnock v Connah's Quay Nomads
Venue: Rugby Park Date: 18 July Time: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website and app.

Kirk Broadfoot says Kilmarnock's revival has taken him by surprise as he eyes Europa League progress.

Killie, who re-signed Alex Bruce on a one-year deal on Wednesday, have set a club record points total in Broadfoot's two seasons at Rugby Park.

Under new boss Angelo Alessio, they take a 2-1 lead into Thursday's second leg against Connah's Quay Nomads in the first-round qualifier.

"When I first came back I couldn't see this happening," says Broadfoot.

"The plan when I first re-signed with Kilmarnock was to try to get top six, but obviously we took it on to another level."

Kilmarnock finished third last season, their highest top-flight finish since 1966, before manager Steve Clarke left to become Scotland head coach.

And centre-back Broadfoot is relishing the Ayrshire side's first European campaign in 18 years after helping the club secure back-to-back top-five finishes.

"To get into Europe is huge for a club of Kilmarnock's size," he added. "There's maybe four or five clubs that try to get in that top six outside the big five. So, for us to break that big five and finish third was a fantastic season.''

'I can't wait to say hello to the fans'

Italian manager Alessio will make his home debut on Thursday and is confident there will be no complacency from his side against the Welsh outfit.

Kilmarnock fell behind in Rhyl with 14 minutes left of the first leg but capped their comeback with a last-minute Stuart Findlay header earning victory.

"I can't wait as it's the first home match for me, a real chance to say hello to the fans," Alessio said. "I think there will be a great atmosphere and I want to experience the noise and passion.

"It's important to have the same attitude [as last week]. We have to play better than last week and can improve game by game."

Bruce returns

Bruce has returned to Kilmarnock on a one-year deal to become Alessio's third signing.

The defender, 34, who is not eligible to face Nomads, made five appearances for the club last season after arriving on a six-month contract in January following his release from Wigan Athletic.

Liverpool forward Liam Millar, who spent the second half of last term on loan from Liverpool, has been linked with a return to Rugby Park and Alessio is keen to beef up a squad that has lost 13 players this summer.

"A lot of negotiations are [taking place] behind the scenes at the moment," the Killie boss said. "We want to add more players, particularly up front in support of Eamonn Brophy."

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