St Mirren set sights on European football after sealing top-six spot

Stephen Robinson wants his side to build on their top six place.

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson sets sights on Europe after sealing top-six spot SNS Group

Manager Stephen Robinson praised his St Mirren players for sealing top-six football for a second successive season and urged them to now aim for Europe.

The Paisley side lost 2-1 at home to Hearts, who forged into a two-goal lead thanks to Jorge Grant’s penalty and a Mikael Mandron own goal.

Toyosi Olusanya’s strike wasn’t enough to prevent St Mirren slipping to defeat but Hibernian’s failure to win against St Johnstone confirmed a top-half finish for the Buddies.

Robinson said: “The top six is achieved over 33 games and you get your rewards. We are five points clear in fifth place and this group thoroughly deserves that.

“It’s the first time the club has achieved successive top-six finishes in 39 years. People’s expectations have risen massively and that’s down to the players.

“With the resources we have, we shouldn’t be in the top six. We are punching way above our weight in terms of the clubs we are competing with.

“Credit to the staff who work tirelessly to drag every bit of energy and quality out of the squad. And to the board who have backed us for the last two years and tried to push the club forward.

“Now our aim is can we get into Europe? It’s 37 years since we managed that but now we can breathe a bit, relax and play our football.”

Opposite number Steven Naismith was equally satisfied as Hearts ground out their 10th away victory of the season to strengthen their hold on third place.

He explained: “I said that to the squad after the game. I think this is probably the stereotypical game Hearts have been questioned in over the years.

“Can you deal with the fight? Add to that St Mirren are going for the top six so when we take the lead, we know they were going to go gung-ho.

“They did and brought more attacking players on and we had to deal with it – and I think we did.

“We did it without three of our most consistent players this season and we did it in terrible conditions that both teams had to play in. So for me it’s a fantastic win.”

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