'Relaxed' St Mirren know what's needed with top six place on the line

Stephen Robinson says his side will be fully prepared to face Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Stephen Robinson: St Mirren are relaxed but know stakes are high in Kilmarnock clash SNS Group

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson insists his players are in a relaxed mood as they prepare to face Kilmarnock in a match that will settle their top six fate on Saturday.

The Paisley side just need a point to ensure that they remain in the top half of the table after the split, in what would be a first for the club.

Excitement is building ahead of the match, with the home stands already sold out, and manager Stephen Robinson admitted it was a huge occasion for his team. However, he said there were no nerves and that the players had prepared for the game the same way as any other.

“It’s hard to play it down but we’re relaxed about it,” Robinson said.

“You know, we’re organised. We’ve gone about our business as we always do every week and the boys have trained really, really well. So it’s just about carrying out that game plan now and playing as we do.

“We’re not asking them to do anything that they haven’t done throughout the season. We need to just play as well as we have, not worry about anything else that’s going on and just go and win the game.”

St Mirren are favourites to get the result they need, having put together a formidable record over the season so far, while Kilmarnock have struggled on the road and only picked up two points from sixteen away games.

Robinson said that there was justified confidence in his side but that the players were aware they have to put in the work to back that up.

“It’s certainly not false belief,” he said. “It’s belief based on what we’ve done.

“We know we can’t drop standards. We know that we have to outwork, outbattle and outfight Kilmarnock because they’ve got some very good players. So we have to make sure we’re on top of our game to get the points. And that’s what we aim to do.”

The rewards are clear for the club, who have never finished in the top six since the split was introduced. Making that target would bring financial returns, as well as keeping alive hopes of European football.

With the club’s last set of financial results having led to belt-tightening all round, Robinson knows success would make a tangible difference and also allow things to be put in place for sustained growth.

“I‘ve stated previously that it’s been a tough season,” he said. “It’s been a real battle and scrap and we’re starting to come out the other end of it.

“If we could make it into the top six it would be really helpful to this football club in terms of trying to put structures in place to be a top six side.

“We haven’t got that in place yet. You know, we’re paying catch up with with a lot of teams, but it would be a massive achievement.

“And nothing but credit should be given to this group of players, a small group, but a dedicated group,that have probably outperformed everybody’s expectations this season bar what we thought in the dressing room.”

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