Hearts' John Sutton insists there is much to play for this season after they opened their bottom-six campaign with a 1-0 victory at Kilmarnock.
Sutton's fifth-minute goal was enough to take Hearts level on points with Hibernian, who face Aberdeen on Monday, and two behind their hosts as they look to jump from 10th place in the Premier League to seventh.
Manager Gary Locke had stressed before the game that the £300,000 difference in prize money was an important factor in ensuring they did so and Sutton believes there are other motivating tools too.
The former Motherwell and St Mirren striker said: "It's the first time we have had back to back wins, which is important.
"A lot of people have said there is not too much for us to play for but we want to finish as high as we can, which is seventh.
"If we had lost that would have been difficult. We have got to look at making it three in a row now.
"Obviously we are aware of the prize money. We don't know the ins and outs but obviously the club is not in great financial shape given they were asking fans to buy shares.
"We are aware that's important but if you saw us play five-a-sides in training you would see it's competitive.
"When there is a game for real you want to win regardless.
"There is money and there is not much prestige in finishing seventh, but we want to finish on a high and get whatever prestige there is."
Sutton added: "We are aware of it as players but the fans like to remind us that Hibs are meant to have had a really good season and we can still overtake them in the league.
"Obviously that is something we would like to do and go out with a bit of a boost."
While Hearts looked destined for the bottom half of the SPL for several months, Kilmarnock only slipped out of the top six in the final seconds of the pre-split fixtures when former Rugby Park striker Rory Boulding netted a winner for Dundee United against Aberdeen.
They looked flat during the first half after Mo Sissoko misjudged Ryan Stevenson's long diagonal ball to allow Michael Ngoo to skilfully set up Sutton for a tap-in.
They came alive not long after Cammy Bell saved Stevenson's 62nd-minute penalty but could not make their late pressure count with Jamie MacDonald saving well from Kris Boyd, who also saw a header bounce over the bar.
And Boyd admitted their late blow two weeks earlier should not have any impact on their future performances.
The striker said: "It doesn't matter if it's the top six or the bottom six. We want to go out and get three points and it doesn't matter who we are playing
"We are representing the club and we need to put on a performance that merits three points, no-one is going to go out there and give us them."
Boyd added: "We started the game really slack and finished it slackly in terms of finishing.
"But it's unacceptable the way we started the game, the goal we lost. It's a launch up the park.
"We have lost five or six goals like that since I came here. We know as a team we have to defend better collectively. It needs to be addressed.
"I should have scored with the header. I don't know what happened, it hit my nose. We are disappointed but we need to pick ourselves up and prepare for Aberdeen next week."