Ray McKinnon is adamant that fourth place is not a foregone conclusion despite watching his rampant Raith Rovers side move 10 points clear with six games left.
Rovers’ superb 2-1 win over St Mirren in midweek has put the Kirkcaldy side within touching distance of qualification for the play-offs, but McKinnon stressed that his team is not there yet.
“Definitely not,” was his instant response. “There’s a long way to go and everybody can still catch us. There’s still a lot of work to do.”
McKinnon’s even refused to rule St Mirren out of the race, despite opening up a 14 point gap over the Paisley side. “If they win all their games they can catch us, so not mathematically,” he said.
The manager’s ultra-cautious approach is understandable given Rovers tough run-in.
They travel to Greenock to face nearest challengers, Morton, on Saturday while they still have to visit Queen of the South as well as facing Rangers and Falkirk at Stark’s Park.
However, with six wins in their last eight, and only two defeats in 11 games, both to Rangers, there is every reason to be confident that Rovers can get across the finish line.
“We’re on some run of form,” McKinnon said. “Take the Rangers game out of the equation and we’ve been comfortable in almost every game we’ve played recently.”
Rovers continued their fantastic form at St Mirren Park on Tuesday with a hard fought win at a venue that had produced 13 points for the hosts from the previous 15 available.
“I thought we were very good in the first half, and we just said to the boys to do the same again in the second half,” McKinnon said.
“I never felt we were in any real danger until they started bombing things into the box and trying to pick up scraps.”
With QotS visiting Ibrox on Saturday, a victory at Cappielow would likely increase Rovers lead to 13 points - making it almost impossible for them to be caught with five games left.
“That’ll be another tough game, we need to go down there and make sure we get a result,” McKinnon added.
Rovers will be without strikers Ryan Hardie and Harry Panayiotou who are both on international duty.