James Dayton puts Kilmarnock deal talks on hold
The Englishman was left coughing up blood following a collision with Ross County’s Mihael Kovacevic during the 1-0 win in Dingwall last month.
The 24-year-old punctured a lung and cracked four ribs in the accidental clash and has been ruled out for the rest of the season. But Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels wants to keep hold of the former Crystal Palace trainee and has offered him a three-year deal. Dayton, however, says he will only discuss terms once he is back on his feet.
He said: “I’m out of contract in the summer but right now I’m just trying to sort out this injury first. The club have offered me a new deal and we are in talks at the moment, but for me it’s just about sorting out this injury before I decide anything.
“It’s hard for me to get around with the injury and this is the sort of thing that’s better done face to face. If things can be sorted out with the contract, I can’t see why I wouldn’t want to stay at Kilmarnock, but we’ll just have to see how things go.”
Dayton originally hoped to return to action before the end of the season but admits time has run out for his recovery. He said: “The ribs are coming along. They are still a bit sore, a bit bruised, but they are a lot better. The timescale hasn’t changed, though, and I’m still out for the season. But I should be back for pre-season.”
Shiels is a big fan of the player and earlier this month even suggested England boss Roy Hodgson should take a look at the Londoner.
The Killie manager insisted he was deadly serious with those comments but Dayton thinks Shiels was kidding around.
“I know I’m a million miles away from an England call-up,” he said. “But it’s nice to know the manager, who sees me in every game and in training, appreciates me as a footballer.
“It’s nice to hear your manager and fans say that you are a good player. But a lot of people took what he said a bit too seriously. I think it was him just having a bit of a laugh. There’s always a slight meaning behind everything that he says. I know how he is and I know how to take it.”