St Johnstone’s desire to make the top six will be just as intense as Kilmarnock’s desire to avoid relegation, Perth boss Tommy Wright insisted.
The McDiarmid Park manager is determined that Saints won’t have to concern themselves with the results of the Hamilton v Dundee and Ross County v Partick Thistle matches, and that they’ll get at least the point that they need at Rugby Park to put the seal on a Premiership achievement that will arguably be their best ever in his time in charge.
And motivation certainly won’t be an issue.
“Like Dundee United, they are fighting against relegation and they have a cause but we have one of our own,” he pointed out.
“If we can achieve another top six finish I believe it will be an even greater achievement than last year. For a club our size it gets harder every season.
“We were disappointed with our first half display against Dundee United. We want a performance like the one we produced in winning against Hearts in the previous game.
“Our best form has been away from home this season. Hopefully we can produce another good performance at Kilmarnock.
“There are no easy games and we have to make sure it is really difficult for Kilmarnock.”
Wright added: “It is an exciting weekend for Scottish football.
“Nothing will be decided at the foot of the table but there are a few teams still trying to secure a top six finish.
“Even Motherwell in fourth place could still miss out when normally 44 points, or even 43 like we have, would ensure you are already in.
“It shows the league is a lot tighter this year and I said that back at the start of the season.
“We are in control of our own destiny, knowing that a point will be probably enough – but we are looking for three points.
“We are going down there to win and be positive, not to shut up shop and look for the draw.
“If you had said at the start of the season we would have 43 points going into the last game before the split I’d have thought we’d already be secure.
“We had 48 last year after the split so we aren’t far away from that figure.
“But we need to finish off this stage of the season with a positive result.
“We don’t want to be depending on other people and looking for their results.”
Craig Thomson has joined Dave Mackay in being ruled out for the season but Wright confirmed that the young winger’s fractured collar cone will heal itself and won’t need to be operated on.
Murray Davidson and Steven Anderson are expected back for the first game after the split, but won’t take part at Kilmarnock, while Steven MacLean won’t figure because of Rugby Park’s artificial surface.
Liam Craig returns from suspension. Chris Millar has trained and should also be available.