With the split edging ever nearer, Terry Butcher will be desperate to accumulate as many points as possible to ensure we don’t become involved in a relegation dogfight come the latter phase of the season.
Although we continue to have a little breathing space at the moment, we can take nothing for granted in the hope that the other sides in and around us keep dropping points.
Saturday’s match at Firhill was a fixture I am sure the manager would have hoped to have at least picked up a point from, but, by all accounts, Thistle were very worthy winners on the day in what was another poor showing from the players in green-and-white.
However, the disappointing display and result in Glasgow, coupled with some of the other results from the day, means we are far from out of trouble.
Aside from Hearts, whose fate has virtually been sealed, we appear the most vulnerable at this moment with Ross County and Partick Thistle themselves picking up another precious three points.
There is no worse feeling for a footballer than going into a game where the only award up for grabs is survival, not a trophy or European spot in sight. The tension can, at times, be unbearable as time rolls where you can become completely consumed by the club’s current predicament.
Even the simplest of tasks on the park can become a real challenge, but this is the harsh reality of life at the foot end of the table. We can only hope the weekend’s defeat can prompt some acknowledgement that we are involved in a fight to avoid the play-off spot. Perhaps all the talk of a top-six place has gone to the players’ heads?
Of course, we should continue to remain ambitious that we can grind out a place in the top-six but we must be honest and admit our current form is not good enough to warrant a place there.
We have three difficult games between now and the split with St Johnstone and Aberdeen to come and an Edinburgh derby sandwiched in between those two fixtures. Surely the talk of a top-half finish can be dispelled should we fail to win in Perth on Saturday?