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Saints target top-six finish

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23 Sep 2012 13:30:00

Saints target top-six finish

St Johnstone's Dave Mackay hopes his side can continue their recent form after the impressive back-to-back wins over Celtic and Ross County. Frazer Wright's late goal secured a 2-1 SPL win for 10-man Saints in Dingwall on Saturday, with the visitors riding their luck to end the home side's remarkable 40-match unbeaten run. St Johnstone achieved a morale-boosting win over Celtic last weekend and led through Liam Craig on Saturday before having Rowan Vine sent off after half an hour's play. County levelled midway through the second half with a snap shot from Sam Morrow and chased another goal, but Wright provided the unlikely winner five minutes from the end when he headed home following a Craig corner. Mackay almost added a third goal for Saints in stoppage-time when he cracked a shot off the upright. After a sticky start to the season, the Perth side are now in a groove, and looking to climb the table from ninth place. Mackay said: "We just try to better the previous season's position. "The first two years we came up we finished eighth and last season we made the top six. So we are looking to at least do that again. "We had a really tough start when things weren't quite going our way. Hopefully we've got that little bit of luck now and wee bit of confidence to push on." Mackay explained that going down to 10 men was something Saints were prepared for. He said: "You work at it a lot in training when you are outnumbered, you are just defending attacks and we very rarely lose goals in training. "It is similar to that, you just try to hold it as long as you can. "We obviously had chances as well, Murray Davidson hit the crossbar, I don't know if the ball went over the line or not, and I hit the post at the end as well. "But obviously we had to weather that storm and we just about managed it." Looking ahead to Tuesday's League Cup third-round tie against Queens Park, Mackay said: "It is a game we are looking forward to. "We are on a wee run now, two wins and a draw, and we have to keep that going in the cup. "It's a chance to get to the quarter-final. We are playing a lower-division team, who put Dundee out in the last round, so we won't be taking them lightly. "It will be a tough game and one we are looking to win. "There are three divisions between the teams so we are heavy favourites but it means nothing if we don't perform on the night." County's Marc Fitzpatrick admitted the Highland club may have used up all their good fortune during their startling run, which saw them promoted to the Scottish Premier League. He said: "We had our chances in the game but couldn't take them. Maybe our luck has run out. In that 40-game run we had the luck on our side but it just didn't go with us today. "We've shown by going 40 games unbeaten we have a good mentality about us, and can deal with the pressure. Hopefully we can take that into the next game."


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