Dundee United striker Scott McDonald is aiming to kill off St Mirren’s title hopes tonight after helping his side extinguish the waning threat of Livingston last Saturday.
A McDonald goal, sandwiched by a Paul McMullan brace, means United go into the top-of-the-table clash in Paisley knowing the Championship is now very much a two-horse race.
The Tangerines currently trail the Buddies by two points, but have a game in hand.
And McDonald knows victory against their closest rivals will see the Terrors start to stretch a lead at the top.
“They’re all important games now, especially around this Christmas period,” the Aussie said.
“We’ve got a massive game against St Mirren and we want to make sure we’re in top form.
“If the Queen of the South game had been completed, we were pretty confident we would have won that game and would have been sitting top still.
“Albeit, we beat Livingston and go into the St Mirren game knowing if we overcome them there’s a possibility of trying to stretch a lead.
“It’s vital and obviously Livingston have had an excellent season as well, they were a massive threat.
“By beating them on Saturday I wouldn’t say it killed their title dreams, but it made it a lot more difficult.”
Since manager Csaba Laszlo took charge in November, United have been unbeaten in league football.
And although McDonald expressed his disappointment at the sacking of his predecessor Ray MacKinnon, he has been pleased with how the team have been able to turn their fortunes around on the pitch under Csaba’s reign.
McDonald said: “Our form has been really good, the performances have been excellent as well.
“The performances from many seem to be hitting form, which wasn’t so much the case at the start of the season.
“There were too many of us looking for that top form — there seems to be a lot more confidence within the squad now.
“You have to remember it’s a young squad, there’s going to be times where there’s a dip in form and it’s important that senior players can boost that and get round them, lending experiences and leading from the front.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how he’s changed it in terms of the style of play, he’s changed the shape a little bit, too.”
Csaba will look to strengthen his squad come the January transfer window opening on Monday with McDonald’s position, striker, an area earmarked for bolstering.
However, the 34-year-old forward remains unperturbed about his future.
He added: “We’ve been lacking a little bit of diversity, that will help us going forward especially as the season progresses and it gets sticky.
“We’ll be looking for results and there’s a lot of pressure when we’re going tit for tat with other teams.
“The addition of any quality player would be welcomed.
“It gives me an edge as well, I think it’s nice to have that competition.
“It keeps you on your toes especially when you get older, you need someone to be pushing you and giving you extra motivation.”