Robinson remains grounded as St Mirren fans dream of European spot

A 3-1 win at Dundee put Saints on course for a Conference League place.

Stephen Robinson staying grounded as St Mirren fans dream of European spot SNS Group

Stephen Robinson was delighted to see St Mirren’s supporters relishing a long-awaited return to Europe on Saturday even though he was keen to stress that they are not there yet.

The Paisley side have not played in Europe since 1987 but they are firmly on course to be in the Europa Conference League qualifying round in July after a 3-1 win away to nearest challengers Dundee on Saturday took them five points clear of the Dark Blues with just three games remaining.

There were jubilant scenes at full-time between the Saints players and their 2,000 travelling fans who sang about the prospect of returning to continental competition.

“That’s what you pay your money for, you pay your money to dream,” he said of the supporters’ excitement about Europe. “It’s been 37 years since we were in Europe and 40-odd years since we were top six twice in a row.

“You have to enjoy these times, and why not? But my job is to stay grounded and keep the players grounded.

“We need to continue to play without pressure because nobody expected this from us bar the dressing room. We expected it and we expect to continue to win games towards the end of the season.”

Robinson watched on proudly as his players took the acclaim of their supporters following a huge win secured by goals from Alex Gogic, Scott Tanser and Toyosi Olusanya.

“I’m proud of the players and the staff,” he said. “I’m not one that craves the limelight, so I want the players to get the credit and the plaudits.

“The expectation at St Mirren has risen incredibly over the two and a half years we’ve been here and it’s solely down to the players and the hard work of people behind the scenes to kick the club on.

“We’ve not achieved anything yet though. There’s nine points to play for and we’ll be doing everything in our power to try and catch Kilmarnock first and foremost.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty admitted Saturday’s disappointing performance came as “a shock” to him but he refused to concede defeat in his side’s bid to qualify for Europe for the first time in 21 years.

“The season is not over yet, there are nine points to play for and I would urge the players to have a positive reaction,” he said.

“The players have shown over the course of the season that anytime there are question marks over their performance, they have reacted right away.

“Hearts at Tynecastle will be tough next week but what better game to go into to show a reaction?

“I am challenging the players to do that and I am confident they will.”

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