Final game of season and a farewell for Saints trio

Saints welcome Ross County to McDiarmid Park tomorrow in what is the final game of the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership season.

It will be an emotional day for everybody involved with the club as we say farewell to three long-serving players – Chris Millar, Alan Mannus and Steven MacLean.

That won’t be in the visitors minds though as Ross County know that anything less than a win will see the club relegated to the Scottish Championship after six seasons in the top-flight. Even a win may not be enough to save Stuart Kettlewell’s men as The Staggies trail 11th placed Partick by two points going into the final game.

Saints come into the match on the back of two away victories in four days down in North Lanarkshire. They added to Saturday’s stunning 5-1 win at Fir Park against Motherwell with a 2-1 victory against Hamilton at New Douglas Park on Tuesday. It was a result and performance which pleased Saints boss Tommy Wright.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Tommy said, “and in the first-half we probably didn’t pass the ball as well as we would have liked. In fairness to the players though it’s not an easy pitch to play on and it can be difficult to play flowing football on that surface.

“I thought in the second-half once the game opened up a bit we showed our quality. I think we fully deserved the win and it was pleasing to pick up six points from two away fixtures on the bounce.

“I was really pleased with the application of the players. I thought Liam Gordon came in and was outstanding, and I was also delighted with Ali McCann who came on early in the game and I thought he was superb. It was a strong, all-round team performance.”

Finishing in 7th place remains the target for Tommy and the players and he has a message for Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald ahead of a game which The Jags will be hoping for a favour to help avoid them finishing bottom of the table.

“The pressure is on Ross County but we want to win the game,” Tommy said.

“Not that Alan Archibald needs me to say it, but Partick Thistle need have no worries about us downing tools for this match. I’ve said we want to finish with three wins and we still have 7th place in our sights. It’s a game that we’re up for and we want to take all three points against Ross County.”

The match will mark the end for three players from the famous Scottish Cup-winning side, with Chris Millar, Alan Mannus and Steven MacLean all departing in the summer. Both Millar and Mannus are in line to feature, but MacLean is suspended and has already played his last match for the club marking it with a glorious hat-trick against Motherwell last Saturday.

“I’d imagine it’ll be an emotional day for everybody,” Tommy commented, “it’s three significant players who have done fantastic for the football club all leaving at once.

“They’ve given the fans so many memories and I’m sure the ones that can be there will turn out to show their appreciation.

“Alan Mannus will start the game in goal and Chris Millar will feature in the game at some point. Unfortunately Macca is suspended but we’ve cleared it with the SFA so that he can come onto the pitch at full-time to say his farewells too.”

Tomorrow’s match is a 3PM kick-off at McDiarmid Park. The referee is Nick Walsh.