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We should be dead and buried – Kearney

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney reckons they should be dead and buried in the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation battle.

The fact, however, they are still fighting for their top-flight lives gives him belief they can pull off the great escape and preserve their Premiership status.

Kearney believes the upheaval they have gone through on their Premiership return, since he replaced Alan Stubbs early in the campaign and the massive squad overhaul in January, should have seen them cut adrift at the bottom.

St Mirren, however, climbed into the relegation play-off place and sent Dundee to the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win last weekend and can close the gap on 10th-placed Hamilton to just a solitary point with a win at the Hope CBD Stadium tomorrow.

Kearney insists to be in this position is a dream and has urged his players to keep going to make survival a reality.

Kearney said: “It’s come to that stage of the season, it’s exciting and there’s lots to play for. It’s a huge game.

“The feeling around our place because of the rollercoaster of a season it’s been, because of the obstacles we’ve had to overcome to get to this point, the fact we’re even in the mix is a big relief and a huge bonus to everybody.

“We should be dead and buried and we shouldn’t be in this position where we have a chance of doing this with what we’ve had to come through and the changes we’ve had to make and how late I had to put this team together.

“The fact we’re still there enthuses everyone around the club and with that we just want to go and give it everything we can for the final six games.

“We should be dreaming about being in this opportunity. We should maybe be 10 or 12 points adrift wishing we should be involved in this.

“So for me, and that’s what I’ve been trying to drive home, we really don’t have a right to be in the mix at this point in time. Credit to everyone for how hard they’ve fought throughout the season, particularly from Christmas onwards, to give us a fighting chance.

“But with that, now that we’re here, let’s give it everything.”

St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky required treatment during their 2-0 defeat to Celtic after a pyrotechnic thrown from the stand containing Hoops fans exploded close him.

Kearney is relieved there was no lasting damage to Hladky but fears a player will soon get seriously hurt.

He said: “Thankfully he was able to train on Friday and we just hope there’s no long-term side effects.

“We’re in danger of something really serious happening. With that one on Wednesday he was a metre away from it being really serious. If that lands around his feet not only the noise but the explosion we don’t know what we could be facing.

“It is serious and it’s something that needs to be stamped out.”