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Even In The Bottom Six There Is Much To Play For
Published : 06 Apr 2011 14:30:20
Revenge is in the air over Paisley as the Buddies want to make life very difficult for the Dons Danny Lennon wants his players to develop a level of consistency if they are wanting to be safe from relegation. Saint Mirren moved nine points above Hamilton after coming from behind to win 3-1 on Saturday and are looking to make full use of their game in hand against Aberdeen tonight. The Buddies have yet to record consecutive wins this season. They hope to amend that statistic and close the gap on the Dons to three points tonight. Lennon said: "Right after the Hamilton game we laid it on the line to the players. It was a massive lift but we have to remain focused on getting as many points as possible in the last eight games of the season and that starts on Wednesday night. We need players who are consistent. Saturday's second-half performance cannot be allowed to be flash in the pan. There was a bounce in the step and you would expect that after that second half performance. The most important thing was the result on the day and we are delighted to pick the three points up. It is important that we go in to Wednesday night's game and make Saturday's game count and we will do so only if we do something.'' The Saints manager wants to avenge the recent defeat at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, which came after Aberdeen defender Rory McArdle equalised deep into injury-time at St Mirren Park after Lennon's men had squandered several chances to win the game. Lennon went on: "We have had some good games that have been very close and could have gone either way. They took something from us and we have a lot to get back on Wednesday. With them having one eye on the cup it certainly is a massive one for us and also the aspect that they are the ones directly above us now and that gives us the main, added incentive to try to catch them. We have to finish as high as we can and build a bit of momentum.'' Lennon's Aberdeen counterpart, Craig Brown, has reminded his players they still have much to play for despite seeing their top-six hopes all but end when they lost to Motherwell on Saturday. The 2-1 defeat at Fir Park left Aberdeen nine points adrift of sixth-placed Motherwell with three games to play before the split. Motherwell can increase the gap if they beat Dundee United while the Dons visit St Mirren Park. However, Brown wants his men to build for next season and warned them places are at stake for their Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic on 17 April. He said: "We have to look forward to the semi-final of the cup. The lads know they are playing for their place in the semi-final and that's a huge incentive. They are determined to do their best in the cup and to finish the championship strongly. I'm well aware there are season tickets to be sold and people want to see encouragement for next season and that will be done through results and hopefully through the recruitment of one or two players. The players are playing for their futures, both in terms of contracts and the level of contracts. The better they play, the better offer we are disposed to give them. It's a huge incentive for the players. Some guys will know they are here but they want the best possible deal. Every place is worth money to the club and if we can't finish sixth, we want to be seventh.'' 11th-placed St Mirren will not make it easy for the Dons as they want to move up the table as well. Brown said: "They will want to get back-to-back wins. They haven't got them yet and I read they are anxious to do so against us. But we think we will play far better in Paisley than we did the last time. We played well in the replay so I think we are good enough to get a win at Paisley.''