It’s a case of all or nothing for St Mirren when Hamilton visit the Simple Digital Arena tomorrow night – and even all might not be enough.
The hosts are four points behind third-bottom Accies with only two fixtures remaining and must win to maintain their hopes of overhauling their rivals, who conclude their campaign with a home game against St Johnstone while Saints visit already relegated Dundee,
Fortunately, in veteran striker Simeon Jackson, pictured, who has won 49 caps for Canada and experienced life in the Premier League with Norwich City and in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Braunschweig, they have someone who has seen and done it all.
More pertinently, he has also come out on top on the final day of the season in a must-win relegation battle for Millwall to secure the Lions’ Championship status.
“We had to beat Bournemouth on the last day to stay up and there was pressure but the manager, Ian Holloway, was really good at taking it all off you,” said the 32-year-old.
“He hogged the limelight and would do different stuff to make sure we were relaxed. His team talks were amazing and he just knew how to get the best out of the players.
“It’s good to have experienced that and to look back at what happened then. You can’t be uptight; you need to play the game, not the occasion.
“You need to focus on getting the better of your opponent – you can’t get involved in the other stuff.”
Jackson also has fond memories of his only play-off experience, which included scoring a stoppage-time winner for Gillingham against Shrewsbury Town in the League One final at Wembley.
Should Saints fail to overhaul Hamilton, they will face either Inverness or Dundee United in the first leg of this season’s final on 23 May, the tenth anniversary of that Wembley success. “I hope it doesn’t get to that stage again and we won’t need a play-off,” said Jackson.
“It would be nice if a miracle happened and we stay up automatically but we’ve been playing well and fighting, and sometimes that’s what it takes. I believe we deserve to stay up after everything we’ve been through this year.
“We’re aware of what’s at stake for everyone. Nobody wants a relegation on his CV and it’s not good for the young boys. The ones that have experienced these situations need to help them through it.”