It’s all coming down to three games in eight days.
And from St Johnstone’s point of view, unlike the other relegation-threatened clubs, they have the luxury to approach the conclusion of the Premiership campaign as a week-long project and not treat the next match as something bordering on do or die.
Looking at their remaining fixtures, the likelihood of the Perth side getting the one win that will secure their top-flight status for another year works in reverse order.
Last-day pressure with one team on the beach and the other with everything at stake brings plenty of unpredictability to the occasion but the Livingston match feels like Saints’ best chance of picking up three points.
Ross County in Dingwall is a 50-50 contest, leaving Saturday’s third trip of the season to Kilmarnock’s artificial pitch by far the toughest challenge they have left.
This Saints team and plastic have been a terrible combination thus far.
In a campaign when away form has been markedly better than home, Livingston and Killie games have stood out for all the wrong reasons.
On all four occasions, Saints have been second best.
They’ve lost three times and, ironically, the worst half of football of the season (the first 45 in the last game at Rugby Park) yielded the solitary point.
Had it not been for some VAR charity, we’d be talking about four defeats out of four.
Saints didn’t even beat Queen of the South on their artificial surface in the League Cup group match.
It’s hard to escape the suspicion that they’ve got a few players (the older ones) who aren’t suited to 4G.
To my eye, it’s often been as simple as Saints being out-run and out-pressed by teams with younger legs.
Chance to rest a few
Steven MacLean has scope for a bit of horses for courses selection here.
Even if he’s fit, this is one I’d consider leaving Andy Considine out of. Make sure his joints are in prime condition for the Wednesday and Sunday to follow.
The same goes for Graham Carey and Jamie Murphy. And it’s not a game to be rushing David Wotherspoon back for either.
Put Zak Rudden (who has played some of his best football at Falkirk) and Connor McLennan on from the start and do your best to match the impressive dynamism Derek McInnes’s side bring to their home games.
This is the stand-out fixture for MacLean to secure the manager’s job.
Under Callum Davidson, Saints neither won on plastic this season nor looked like winning on plastic.
If his successor could devise the team selection and tactics to end that run and become only the second team outside of the big two and the other artificial pitch specialists, Livingston, to triumph at Rugby Park that would be a vivid feather in his coaching cap.
The greatest challenge of MacLean’s six game spell as interim boss brings the greatest opportunity.