St Mirren V Ross County at St Mirren Park : Match Preview

02 May 2014 03:01
St Mirren V Ross County - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Buddies all believe - McLean

Everyone at St Mirren is confident they can take advantage of being in pole position in the battle to avoid the Scottish Premiership play-off spot, according to midfielder Kenny McLean.

With three games remaining and ahead of the visit of Ross County on Saturday, the Buddies are in seventh place following last week's 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Danny Lennon's side are unbeaten in four games but are still only point ahead of Hibernian, Ross County and Partick and two ahead of Kilmarnock, who occupy the relegation play-off spot.

However, McLean said: "With the run we are on going into the last three games, we are more than capable of winning.

"Everybody knows that. We will take it game by game and hopefully we can pick up maximum points.

"We are sitting in seventh place now and we need to stay there.

"We are trying not to worry too much about what is happening behind us.

"We are in pole position and if we stay there then it will be a very good season for us.

"There have been two wins and two draws and it could have been better that that.

"In the first game of that run against Inverness they were down to 10 men and I had a chance very late on so it could have been better.

"So we have been playing well and we are happy with the way things are going and if it stays like that then we will be fine.

"Ross County are tough to play against but with home advantage we should be good."

Like several of the Buddies players, McLean's contract ends in the summer.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to Rangers - a club he was at as a youngster - but he is putting all talk about his future on hold until Saints are secure.

"I think we will be safe but now the focus is on getting there," the Scotland Under-21 midfielder said.

"I don't want to think about St Mirren in the Championship. I don't think that will be a factor.

"I think we will definitely be in the Premiership and I have to help the club do that

"We have three massive games, we are on a good run and I just want to keep on doing what I am doing and everyone feels the same.

"A lot of boys are out of contract at the end of the season and they don't know where their future lies.

"It is hard at times. You don't know where your future lies but it is a massive end to the season and we are not safe yet."

Lennon will have skipper Jim Goodwin available after he avoided a season-ending ban by successfully appealing his dismissal against Hibernian.

A Scottish Football Association disciplinary tribunal downgraded his punishment for a challenge on Kevin Thomson to a yellow card for recklessly dangerous play, rather than a red for serious foul play.

Lennon has no injury worries for the visit of the Saints' relegation play-off rivals, who are one point behind the seventh-placed Buddies.

Melvin de Leeuw believes the Ross County players must retain Scottish Premiership status for loyal Staggies fans who will be at Global Energy stadium long after the current squad has gone.

County's battling 2-1 home win over Kilmarnock last week took Derek Adams' side out of the relegation play-off spot and into ninth place.

However, they are only one point better off than 11th-placed Killie and one behind seventh-placed St Mirren, whom they visit on Saturday.

De Leeuw said: "You play for the club, the fans and for yourself but at the end, the players leave the club and the fans stay so we must do our best to stay in this league.

"This game is going to be bigger than last week.

"Last week is away now and Saturday can be a six-point game, if you win you can look forward.

"That is what we are going for. I don't talk about losing. We must go at them. It is a relegation battle.

"Everybody in the team knows what they have to do.

"We got a lot of chances last Saturday but if we play smarter and are not nervous, then I think we will get more goals.

"That's what we need to do on Saturday, if we get a chance we must take it."

The Dutchman's season has been blighted with injury but he is still County's top scorer with eight goals and he intends to stay at the top of the charts, although not to the detriment of the team.

The 26-year-old said: "Everybody wants to be at the top of the list and we make jokes about it.

"I am still there but I want to get more goals for Ross County.

"It is good that all the players want to score but you must do it as a team and not for yourself."

Derek Adams will assess some injury problems ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash.

Adams was giving little away though and would not reveal the identity of the affected players.

Midfielder Michael Tidser went off injured in the first half of last weekend's win over Kilmarnock and defender Evangelos Oikonomou was absent.

Source: PA

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