Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson has stressed the importance of finishing second in the Championship.
The prospect of an extra two games in the play-offs is not an attractive one.
And United are determined to make sure that if Ross County clinch the title, as expected, the Tangerines will finish the best of the rest.
Tomorrow night at Tannadice they have the chance to open the gap on third-placed Ayr United to nine points.
“County had a great result last night (beating Dunfermline) so fair play to them doing that under the pressure,” said Neilson.
“We still have to push as much as we can and keep the pressure on but it’s going to be very, very difficult. We understand that.
“If we’re not going to get that top spot, we’ve got to ensure we get second.
“It’s very important. It’s hard for obvious reasons to play in the third and fourth play-off, and then go and play against the second top side in the play-off semi-final.
“It’s a lot of games at that stage of the season. It would be tough for anybody.”
United and Ayr could meet each other in the play-offs and Neilson is determined to avoid a zero and four record against Ian McCall’s men for the regular season.
“We’ve played Ayr three times this season and lost them all,” he said.
“But if you look back at the squads used previously, then there are probably three or four guys maximum who were involved in the last game.
“There’s been a big turnaround in players in the January window which we had to do. It’s basically a whole different team.
“The board have given their backing and we’ve gone out and bought the kind of players who can handle these big games.
“I think it will be two teams who are quit physical, strong and aggressive going forward.
“In saying that, both like to play good football when they get the opportunity.
“For Ayr, they’ve got Shankland and Moffat up front who are clever players and can cause a lot of problems with their movement.
“They’ve got a good midfield – McDaid has caused us problems previously – and defensively they’re pretty strong too.
“But I believe we’re a team who are more than a match for that.”
Osman Sow has trained this week and could be involved, with Callum Booth, Paul Watson and Mark Connolly all fit. Cammy Smith and Frederic Frans are also nearing a return.