Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd believes that tonight’s home match against St Mirren is the most important of the campaign, which has thus far been disappointing but could yet prove to be catastrophic for the Ayrshire club.
The 30-year-old could be forgiven for basking in his status as one of the few shining lights for Allan Johnston’s side.
Yet he has derived little satisfaction from being short-listed by his peers for PFA Scotland’s Player of the Year award and he believes his impressive haul of 20 goals will count for little if Kilmarnock fail to retain their Premiership status.
That, though, is a very real possibility. Six defeats in their last seven outings have plunged them into the play-off position and few would back the team which lost 5-0 to Hearts’ youngsters at Tynecastle on Sunday to prevail against a Hamilton Accies side which put ten past Morton 24 hours earlier.
Of course, victories tonight and away to Hibernian on Saturday would render such conjecture irrelevant, but no-one will be betting the farm on that outcome and the worry for Boyd, in his second spell with his first senior club, is that if Killie are demoted from the top tier then it could be years before they are in a position to return.
“It’s a difficult moment for the club, because we are the ones in the play-off position and nobody wants to be there,” he said.
“The only way we are going to get out of it is hard work. You’re not going to change everything about the club in a couple of days from the Hearts game to Wednesday.
“It’s up to us, whatever team the manager picks, to go out and play the game as if it’s our last game of football because it could well be for a lot of us at this club.
“Obviously, if the club has to go down you never know where it’s going to end up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Kilmarnock have struggled over the last few years.
“With Hearts, who will have a go at it next year, and Rangers in that division as well, it’s up to us to make sure we stay in the Premiership and give this club every chance to be a success going forward.
“However, if we go down I think we could be down for a couple of years, so it’s up to us to give it our all because this game is bigger than Saturday’s.
“This is the one we face right now and we need to put on a performance to give ourselves a chance to move away from second-bottom.”
BT Sport Q&A: Rangers | Hibs | Neil Lennon
THIS week’s BT Sport video Q&A looks at whether Rangers fans will buy season tickets and if the club’s supporters will force a change of ownership.
The form of Hibs under Terry Butcher is also examined following the Easter Road side’s derby defeat while the future of Neil Lennon is also considered following the announcement that his assistant Johan Mjallby is to depart at the end of the season.
• Email your Scottish football question for the BT Sport panel to answer. The next show will be recorded on May 7 after St Johnstone v Celtic, which will also be shown live on BT Sport, with the video available on The Scotsman website the following day. You can also tweet us @TheScotsman.
A line-up of experts will handle your questions after each BT Sport game. Most match days, the team includes Darrell Currie, Derek Rae and Gary McAllister.
Over this season, BT Sport will air 30 SPFL matches plus 10 Rangers games from the SPFL League One.
• T&C We can not guarantee which presenters will answer your questions. Questions are vetted and no correspondence will be entered into.