Stephen Robinson is honoured to be nominated for the PFA Scotland manager of the year award but the St Mirren boss is determined the whole club get the main prize of the season by qualifying for Europe.
Robinson has led the Buddies to their first cinch Premiership top-six finish since the split was introduced towards the end of last century and his side are in the hunt for their first foray into Europe for 35 years.
The former Oldham, Motherwell and Morecambe manager said: “It’s an honour. It’s justified not for me but for the club, the board, the staff at the ground and the training ground and the players. They deserve the recognition.
“It’s recognition for everybody on what we have achieved this season. I’m at the head of it so you get the praise for it but ultimately the players have been exceptional.
“It’s the first time in a long, long time that St Mirren have been in the top six, still battling for a place in Europe.
“It’s credit to everyone that we have come through really difficult times which has culminated in a top-six finish and hopefully more.
“We are 1-0 down in the race for Europe and we have to play like that.”
Robinson’s side lost 2-1 to Hibernian in their first post-split fixture after making a poor start at Easter Road and he is trying to ensure they display the fighting mentality they showed after the break when they host Hearts on Saturday.
“I usually play everything down, so it is a must-win,” he said.
“We were 2-0 down at half-time and then we played absolutely brilliant. We played with no fear, we didn’t over-think things, and that’s the way we have to play for 96-97 minutes on Saturday.
“We have to play as if we are 1-0 down. We have to play without fear, be the attacking team, as attacking as we can do with our injury situation with strikers.
“We have absolutely nothing to lose. There was no expectation for us to get this far and I have told the boys we have got our praise for top six now, so we have enjoyed that, let’s go and get more praise and get the recognition the players deserve for trying to get into Europe – 100 per cent it’s a must-win.”
Robinson’s nomination continues the positive press St Mirren have been getting and the Northern Irishman was disappointed to see negative headlines in recent days.
Former St Mirren director Alan Wardrop, who was a key member of fan ownership group SMISA, has been banned from the ground after raising concerns in the media over part-owner Kibble’s actions over a previous attempt to raise funds to build a wellbeing centre in Paisley.
St Mirren last week stated that there had been no plans to build the centre on land owned by the club and charity Kibble stated that confusion had arisen because of an error from the council in relation to a map of the land.
Robinson was disappointed to see Wardrop raise concerns publicly.
“I am right in amongst this football club and I know exactly what happens,” he said. “I work closely with Jim Gillespie who is part of the Kibble ownership and I work closely with SMISA and I have had nothing but support and direction. Everybody is puling in the same direction at this football club.
“It’s unnecessary in probably the biggest week in the club’s history for 30-40 years, really unnecessary negativity that we don’t need and players that we are trying to sign don’t need to read about.
“We are not having any of that. As a football staff we are not having any of that. We are a positive group of people.”
There was further positive news for Robinson after 21-year-old Lewis Jamieson signed a one-year contract.
Robinson said: “Lewis came back from Airdrie, he had lost his way a little bit in terms of fitness levels and application, and what a turnaround.
“He reminds me a little bit of Ethan (Erhahon). When I came in he looked a little bit lost but his work ethic and quality is there for everyone to see.”