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Stephen Robinson lauded his St Mirren players for embracing the challenge of a European shootout with Dundee after they romped to an impressive 3-1 win at Dens Park.

The Buddies took a huge step towards securing their first crack at continental competition for 37 years as goals from Alex Gogic, Scott Tanser and Toyosi Olusanya helped them move five points clear of their hosts with three games to play.

Robinson was delighted with the way his team handled the occasion on a day when they would have been overtaken by Dundee if they had lost.

“The players were fantastic from the first whistle,” said the Saints boss. “We said before the game, ‘Go and embrace this occasion, we’re bringing 2,000 fans up, these are the occasions as a wee boy you go and work for and want to be involved in’.

“It’s not pressure, it’s enjoyable and they savoured it today. They looked like they were enjoying their football from start to finish. I thought we thoroughly deserved to win.”

Despite the magnitude of the victory, Robinson knows his side still have work to do to secure their place in the Europa Conference League qualifying round.

“It’s certainly a step in the right direction,” he said. “There’s nine more points to play for and two big home games and we want to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can.

“There’s a real determination in that dressing room to finish this off now.”

Dundee gave themselves a glimmer of hope when substitute Michael Mellon pulled one back in the 76th minute, but manager Tony Docherty was disappointed with the flat nature of his side’s performance in such a huge match.

“First of all I must give real credit to St Mirren,” he said. “They started on the front foot and put us on the back foot and I don’t think we ever recovered. It was very disappointing.

“It was a bit of an anomaly because it was uncharacteristic of us, particularly at home.

“I don’t think we ever got a foothold in the game. We made a change at half-time and made five changes in the game to try to address a lot of issues.

“I just felt we were swimming against the tide a wee bit. I find it difficult to be hard on those players because over a season they have been fantastic but today was a day that wasn’t to be.”