St Johnstone V Dundee Utd at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview
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Craig looks for fine finish
St Johnstone need just a point against Dundee United to book their top six place but midfielder Liam Craig is determined to finish the season with a bang.
Fifth-placed Saints would put themselves out of reach of all of the bottom six including United by avoiding defeat in the Tayside derby at McDiarmid Park.
Consecutive top-six finishes would represent an excellent achievement for Steve Lomas' side, especially given that they would ensure finishes above clubs with the biggest spending power outside the Old Firm such as Hearts, Hibernian and Aberdeen.
But Craig is not content with that alone. St Johnstone set up a Europa League clash with Eskisehirspor last year by finishing fifth but they ended the season in unspectacular fashion and Craig wants to leave the club on a high before he joins Hibernian.
The 26-year-old said: "When you look at it, you wouldn't have expected that top six to be there with two games to go before the split.
"But this year has been tight and we're delighted to put ourselves in a position to make the top six again, especially after the start we made.
"We always knew we had the quality in the team and over the season so far, it has proved right.
"There are seven games left now and we don't want to stumble into the top six - we want to get there with two wins and give ourselves a chance of climbing the table.
"We want to make sure we go in there positive and make a better account of ourselves."
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara admits he does not mind how his side get the three points in Perth as long as they defeat their hosts.
The Tangerines are facing crunch time as they chase a top-six slot with games against Saints at McDiarmid Park before hosting Aberdeen at Tannadice this weekend.
McNamara knows the importance of securing a top-half finish for the Scottish Cup semi-finalists so will not mind if they win ugly on this occasion.
McNamara said: "We always try to play good football.
"But when it gets down to this stage of the season it can be more about the result than the performance at the end of the day.
"I know the players can dig deep to win even if they're not at their best.
"That's a side of their game they've shown since I came in so they may have to do that again.
"St Johnstone are a big, strong side so we will obviously have to match them in that respect.
"It's going to be a very hard game but we'll be ready for it and hopefully come away with a positive result."
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