KIRK BROADFOOT has been around the block often enough to recognise that football can bring pain, especially when lady luck deserts you.

But being part of a team feeling the hurt of eight successive defeats and with them the potential for relegation is a new experience for him as he reaches the end of a long career.

The veteran Kilmarnock defender now knows all about the soul-destroying emotion of being a serial loser and may feel a hint of responsibility at giving away the free kick that led to yet another defeat, against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Neither was he nor any of his defensive colleagues around to mark Callum Hendry when the on-loan striker headed the only goal of the game, a header that ended the Dons’ astonishing six-game run without scoring.

Killie sit precariously near the bottom of the Premiership and Broadfoot believes that five wins from their remaining eight fixtures must be achieved if they are to remain in the top tier. It’s a tall order.

“If we can get five wins we know we are definitely staying up,” he insisted without equivocation. “We will scrap because every game is a big one now until the end of the season.

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“I don’t think I have been involved in a team which has lost eight on the bounce.”

The former Rangers defender was quick to point out he had missed the seven games prior to his Pittodrie appearance, a frustrating period for him, sidelined and left watching from the wings their race towards the basement of the division.

“I have come back and trying to help everybody,” he said. “We need the whole squad to chip in and to come together and fight. The manager [Tommy Wright] is the type who will get us fighting and we will be hard to beat, but we just need that goal.”

Hendry’s header brought relief to the Dons and manager Derek McInnes, now ready to lead his men against Celtic at Parkhead at the weekend, and lifted the gloom around Pittodrie that cast doubt over whether they could catch and leapfrog third-placed Hibernian in the run-in.

The striker, on loan from St Johnstone till the end of the season, still has to make a name for himself in the game, but his direct approach after replacing the injured Fraser Hornby with just twenty minutes played was a breath of fresh air for the Reds.

That he scored with his first touch less than a minute later clearly boosted him.

The 23-year-old son of former Scotland star, Colin, Hendry revealed that Kilmarnock manager Wright, who signed him for St Johnstone, made a prophetic call to him before the game along the lines of: “I bet you score if you get the chance.”

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Hendry added: “It’s bizarre, but I saw him after and he only had nice things to say. I know what I’m capable of, where I should be and what level I should be playing at. If you’re not getting a game at Saints and another SPL team comes in for you, it shows someone else has got faith in you.

“I was delighted when Derek got in touch, but I just wanted to start playing football again. Saints have been playing well, but I just want to concentrate on myself and Aberdeen. They’re my team at the minute.

“Dad looks after me and he was getting phone calls. There were people coming in but that’s just football. You do have to be selfish. Every footballer will say the same thing. It’s your career; you have to take it by the scruff of the neck.”

Meanwhile, the visit of Dundee United to Rugby Park on Saturday is crucial for Killie. Broadfoot believes the signing of Kyle Lafferty, a free agent following an unproductive spell with Serie B club Reginna, could prove a profitable turning point.

“He will bring goals and that is what we are missing,” he said. “We just need that goal to give us the confidence and something to hold on to.

“We don’t want to be going down 1-0 and turning it into a basketball game again. It would be good to get a goal ahead, open some teams up and then we can hit on the counter-attack.”