Dundee boss Paul Hartley admits the quest for a top six finish has important implications for this season as well as the next campaign.
The Dark Blues have an incredibly tough set of fixtures before the split but the Dens manager insists their destiny is very much in their own hands.
However, he acknowledged that whether Dundee did or did not finish in the top six would impact financially on his future plans.
The manager expanded on the importance of the next five matches after initially being asked if he had spoken to keeper Scott Bain about signing a possible contract extension.
The former Alloa goalie has been a stand-out performer for the Dark Blues since taking over between the sticks from Kyle Letheren.
However, the manager admitted: “No, we haven’t spoken (about Bain’s contract). I think we are leaving things just now waiting to see where we are after the next five games and whether we are in the top six.
“We know how vital that is in terms of the finances.
“So it is something we will have to wait and see.
“It is a hard finish for us. I think we have the most difficult run-in.
“We have to try to get ourselves into it we can’t rely on anybody else.
“We just have to try to get as many points as we can in the five games and if we haven’t done enough then it is down to us.
“They are all tough games but we have three at home against Aberdeen, Celtic and Dundee United. They don’t come any harder than that and we also have Inverness and St Johnstone away.
“If we can take it into the last game at St Johnstone that’s great. That’s all we can ask of the players, to give ourselves a fighting chance.
“If we get into the top six, great. If we don’t then hopefully we can still finish the season as strongly as we can.”