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Added Incentive To Finish In Top Six
Published : 25 Feb 2012 10:40:01
European football could be available to all clubs which finish in the top six of the SPL bar Rangers.
While Rangers are under a dark cloud regarding their licence to play in Europe, a silver lining could be available for other clubs striving to end the season in the top six of the SPL. Unless Rangers can publish audited accounts and meet other financial criteria by 31 March, the Ibrox side will not be eligible for European competitions. With Scotland allocated five European places next season, all of the other top-six teams could automatically qualify for Europe, depending on the make-up of the Scottish Cup final. This is the sort of scenario that St Mirren defender David Barron admits is an added incentive to get their top-six push back on track. The Buddies welcome Aberdeen to St Mirren Park today and will be determined to overtake their guests to get closer to the top six. Barron said: "I wasn't aware until earlier that a place in the top six could mean qualification for Europe. The chance to play in Europe is another great incentive for us to push on and I think even finishing in the top six would be a great achievement for the club. Everyone in the dressing room is adamant that we want a place in the top six, you want to be playing against the big teams in the league and it also means that we are competing at the right end of the league after battling at the bottom in recent years." Barron and his team-mates are hoping to end their run of three successive goalless draws in the SPL. This sort of form has hindered their drive for the top six and St Mirren currently sit five points behind sixth-placed Dundee United. Barron knows the Paisley side must start turning draws into wins if they are to have any hopes of achieving their aspirations this season. A win in today's live televised game would see Saints move above their opponents and back into contention for a spot in the upper reaches of the league. Barron said: "The draws have killed us this season, we have had 11 already, if we had turned two or three of these into wins we would probably be in the top six just now. It's come to that part of the season where things are tightening up, there will be times where we need to take chances and gamble a little to get all three points. Saturday is a massive game in terms of where we are going to finish this season, if we can get the win it would come as a huge boost. I am not saying that our top-six hopes will be over if we don't win on Saturday, but three points would be a big step towards where we want to be."