St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright admits the top six might be beyond them even if they win all their post-split matches.
Seventh-placed Saints head to Fir Park today to meet Motherwell, whom they overtook in the table with their home victory over St Mirren on Wednesday.
They then play Dundee at home on Wednesday and travel to Kilmarnock before the league breaks into two.
Despite getting back to winning ways, the Perth men are still struggling to catch Hearts and Hibs.
Wright said: “We have to remain positive.
“There shouldn’t be any negative vibes about how we are doing. We are still having a good season.
“We have got 41 points now with 12 wins. We only got a dozen wins in the whole of last season.
“I have always said getting top six was going to be tougher this year.
“Normally you get there with 43, 45 points. It is going to take more than that.
“By winning in midweek we have made sure we still have an outside chance with three games to go.
“We might need nine points and even that might not be enough.
“But we have put ourselves above Motherwell and we are also closer to Hearts.
“A few weeks ago you’d have thought Hearts were 100% in there but they have a tough run of games with Aberdeen, Rangers and Hibs.
“We have a tough run, too, but I’m pleased the bad run has ended.
“I would have liked the performance to have been better. We were nervy but the result was the most important thing.”
Saints have an injury doubt over Richard Foster, who was the victim in the red-card incident involving St Mirren’s Ethan Erhahon.
Wright said: “Our biggest concern is Richard, who is struggling with a sore calf.
“It was a poor, poor challenge on him.
“We will assess him but he is probably 50/50.
“Richard is the only fresh injury concern from the St Mirren game but hopefully he will make it.”
Meanwhile, Dundee are believed to be showing an interest in signing Saints midfielder Blair Alston for next season.