Oran Kearney has admitted he would have taken an 11th placed finish when he took over the reigns at St Mirren back in September.

The Buddies still have a chance of automatic Premiership survival if they win both of their remaining games against Hamilton and Dundee while also relying on results elsewhere going their way, namely St Johnstone beating Accies on the final day of the season.

And while Hamilton are the favourites to avoid the play-offs as it stands, the Northern Irishman says his squad only need to look at the last couple of night’s stunning comeback wins for Liverpool and Tottenham in the Champions League for inspiration. 

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Kearney said: "We would have bitten people’s hand off to be in this position when I took over. It’s easy to get carried away but it’s not hard to look back to September and October. We’d have taken hitting the play-off position at that point in time. Obviously when the squad changes in January, the parameters change slightly and it’s okay to be a bit more greedy and selfish. While we still have an opportunity to stay up outright of course we are going to pursue it as hard as we can.

“It's an essential. It's something you shouldn't need to ask for. You only have to look at the two Champions League semi-finals in the last couple of nights to see what can be achieved with a bit of attitude and belief and not wanting to lie down. If we can't take lessons from those games over the last few days about what's achievable with the last mindset, we won't take them from anything. The key thing is we want the players to perform on Monday night and that won't happen if they think about it in a different way so the most important thing is to treat it as a game of football and the result will take care of itself.”

The New Douglas Park side have got the better of St Mirren twice already this season while sharing the spoils back in April in a 1-1 with Anders Dreyer, who has since returned to Brighton due to injury, scoring a penalty to nick a point. 

However, Kearney is adamant those two losses will count for nothing come Monday night while also insisting that his side preserving their Premiership status would be as good as winning a trophy.

He continued: “They're insignificant for me. Hamilton hadn't beaten Dundee all season then they went and got a result against them last Saturday. Half of our players haven't played against St Mirren this season, or played them once. I wouldn't say there's a huge cycle. It's a cup final on Monday and in simple terms it will come down to who turns up and grabs what they want.

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“That's a matter of opinion but my opinion is that it is. For everyone who knows this season and how traumatic it's been, to come through it with this final burst we've put in, it would be a massive achievement.”

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