John Hughes says Ross County cannot afford to ease off in the coming weeks of the season.
The Staggies put some daylight between themselves and the foot of the Scottish Premiership table with a 3–2 victory over Kilmarnock, thanks to a double from Billy Mckay and a first senior goal for Leo Hjelde.
That means County are four points ahead of Killie, who sunk to the bottom of the league because of Hamilton’s draw at Aberdeen, with a game in hand.
With seven games left in the battle to avoid the drop, Hughes’ side would seem to have the upperhand, but he will not be allowing anyone to think the job is done.
“I’m disappointed with the goals we lost – we have to be better than that – but at Ross County we make it hard for ourselves,” he said.
“From now until the end of the season, it’s about showing a spirit and togetherness. I felt that was there on Saturday and it has to be there Monday.
“If any of them come in with a swagger on Monday morning they’ll be getting sent home.
“We’ve still got business to do. It’s going to go down right to the wire.”
Kilmarnock boss Tommy Wright was left frustrated over what he classed as the worst performance Killie have turned in since he joined the club.
He knows that things will need to improve if the Rugby Park outfit are to avoid the drop this season.
“Our defending for the second and third goals was littered with individual errors, people not being positive enough on a difficult pitch to go and meet things,” Wright said.
“I’ve defended us in the previous games that we’ve had, but to lose a game where we are in control in the manner that we did is difficult for me to defend.
“It’s about getting as many points in the table as possible and it’s about winning games. We’re in this position because we’ve not been good enough over 32 games and Saturday the goals epitomised and identify why we’ve had the problems we’ve had.
“In my previous games we’ve played reasonably well and the performances were good, but that was way short of the performance that’s needed to win a game.”