St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas believes the next two league games are pivotal in his side’s season.
Saints moved into fourth place in the SPL last weekend with their 3-1 victory over Dunfermline at McDiarmid Park.
Lomas is determined to stay there but he admits those hopes will be put to the test with the upcoming tricky away matches.
He said: ”We are fourth and if we play to our potential we can stay there. But we are not stupid. We know we have tough games coming up against Kilmarnock and St Mirren away.
”Those two matches will probably dictate where we finish. We are playing against two clubs with aspirations of a top six finish and then we have another game against Hearts.
”It is down to us really but we have given ourselves a fighting chance.”
Meanwhile, Lomas has predicted that Lee Croft will be a major player for Saints when he becomes fighting fit.
The on-loan Derby County winger made an instant impact for the Perth side scoring on his debut against Hibs. Lomas believes his performances then tailed off as his lack of match fitness caught up with him.
However, with the player working hard on the training field, the manager is confident the best is yet to come from Croft.
He said: ”Lee had been inactive at Derby before coming here and for the first few games adrenaline gets you through. Then your body lets you know that you haven’t been playing a lot of football and it catches up with you.
”I think that what happened to Crofty. He was decent in his first couple of games and then stagnated a little bit as the inactivity at Derby caught up with him. There is no doubting his quality and, once he becomes fit enough, there is definitely more to come.”