Under Pressure In The Bottom Six
Updated Monday, 3rd March 2008
It is changed days for Kilmarnock with them fighting to keep out of relegation trouble rather than a top six finish.
Allan Johnston admits the pressure at the bottom of the SPL is taking its toll on him and his fellow Kilmarnock players. The Rugby Park men managed to bounce back from last Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Gretna to beat St Mirren 1-0 on Saturday and move into third-bottom place thanks to Danny Invincibile's goal. However, this did nothing much to relieve the pressure as Killie's season has been a disappointment following two successive years in the top six. Midfielder Johnston said: "It's a different kind of pressure when you're at the bottom and one mistake can cost you the game. I think where we are has been playing on the players' minds and it's a terrible pressure to be under. Beating Saints was a massive result for us after that defeat. It's been a hard couple of days for us in the wake of the Gretna result and it took a big reaction from the boys to go into this game and take all three points. There is still a lot to play for. And we definitely won't be relaxing between now and the end of the season."
For their part, the Buddies had a number of chances in the game and Stewart Kean was disappointed not to cancel out what turned out to be the winning in the first half. It was doubly frustrating for him as has had to play second fiddle to Craig Dargo and Billy Mehmet in recent weeks. The former Ayr United striker said: "I was disappointed with my header. It was a good chance but I think I rose just a bit early for the cross. It's been a bit strange being in and out of the side but when you do get a start you have to make sure you take your chances." The loss, and with Gretna's game against Dundee United being cancelled, means the Paisley side still have an 11-point cushion over the Dumfries and Galloway side, as well as two games in hand. However, Kean knows letting their standards drop could come back to haunt them. He said: "Gretna are fighting to stay up and will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season, so it's important that we concentrate on ourselves and don't worry about anyone else."
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