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Big Game Today For The Buddies And Accies
Published : 02 May 2011 09:35:01
Both sides are playing for their SPL status for 2011-12 St Mirren manager Danny Lennon will set his team out to win today's relegation battle against Hamilton despite the knowledge a draw would be enough to leave Accies with the all but impossible task of winning all their remaining games to avoid the drop. Saints are nine points above bottom club Hamilton - and 12 goals better off - with three games left after today's game. But only a win at St Mirren Park would allow the home side to celebrate their survival in the top flight for a fifth consecutive season. Saints have won their previous two home games - against Hamilton and Aberdeen - and have performed well in three away games since. Late goals denied them a point against both Celtic and Rangers before they edged closer to safety with a draw against Hibs. Lennon said: "The way we're playing, at home and the level of performances we're putting in on a consistent basis, we are capable of taking maximum points. Hamilton have been picking up points recently and they will certainly have a right go because they have to win the game. But we've got our players in a happy place at this moment and if we continue to get those levels of performance we'll give ourselves the opportunity to win games. We've got a great opportunity, in front of our fans, in our own environment, to write our own history.'' Lennon has welcomed the Buddies' fans support and urged them to help the team succeed in their goal of staying up. He said: "Over the course of the last Hamilton game and the Aberdeen game they were fantastic, and last week even at Easter Road on Easter Sunday, they came out. It's great to put in these levels of performance but we want to pick up the points that I feel the players deserve.'' Lennon has captain John Potter and top goalscorer Michael Higdon back from suspension while midfielder Hugh Murray will set a new club record of 459 appearances if he plays. Hamilton defender David Buchanan believes the game presents an opportunity for Accies players to secure their futures - either at New Douglas Park or at another club. Former Bury left-back Buchanan all but accepts the inevitability of relegation and believes all Hamilton players should be using the run-in to showcase their abilities. Buchanan, who was brought to Hamilton by Reid last summer, is keeping his own options open. He said: "Everyone is playing for their future, whether it is to stay at this club or find another club in the SPL or the first division or wherever it may be. We know where we stand. We have to win every game. It's never over until it's over but we haven't even won a home game all season so it's a big ask. But the television cameras have been at our games in the last couple of weeks and teams are trying to recruit for next season, Hamilton included. So it's important that you put yourself in the shop window by trying to put in a positive performance. I'm out of contract at the end of the season. I haven't spoken to anyone at the club yet, obviously they will have their own agenda if they do get relegated. I have a few clubs in the SPL and in England that are interested which is positive. I am not saying I am better than this club. I am part of the team that is looking like being relegated but I want to play in the SPL and I have already proved I can play in the lower leagues in England. But I am not concentrating on that. I just want to do my best for Hamilton. I have too much respect for the people here and I will sit down and see where I am with them first and then take it from there.''