Play-off battle will be decided by team that holds their nerve – insists Queens striker Iain Russell



Queen of the South striker Iain Russell insists the push for the final play-off place will come down to which team holds their nerve.

Five points separate fourth place Raith Rovers from St Mirren in seventh in what is a highly competitive Championship.

Queens, who are a point adrift of Raith, will bid to bounce back from last weekend’s narrow defeat to leaders Rangers when they travel to Falkirk today and experienced forward

Russell has scored seven goals this season (Pic: Alasdair Middleton)

Russell reckons the battle for the end of season deciders will go down to the wire.

He said: “It will probably be down to the team that holds their nerve best.

“There’s us, St Mirren, Morton and Raith all pushing for fourth – it just takes one team to go on a run to get it but I think it will go down to the wire.

“It’s quite nerve-wracking to be involved.

“Even in midweek you’re looking at scores to see how the other teams are getting on.

“It makes it exciting for everyone but you’re constantly checking every game and you know every game means something.

“Raith are playing Morton this weekend and St Mirren are at Rangers, every match and every point is so important between now and the end of the season.”

Russell is bracing himself for a tough test at Falkirk today as Queens bid to collect their first win over Peter Houston’s side this season.

He added: “We’ve had two draws in two games with them so far and in the last one down at our place, that’s as hard a game as we’ve had all season.

“Falkirk were excellent and it’s probably one of the best performances I’ve seen from an away team.

“They’re one of the best passing sides in the league and Falirk is one of the hardest away games you’ll get.”

Third place Falkirk have all but secured a play-off place and striker John Baird admits the Bairns are keen to close the five point gap on Hibs.

He said: “It’s not about trying to make the play-offs. We’re in there already and it’s about looking up and putting pressure on the teams above us.

“There’s no point in saying we’re trying to make the play-offs, that’s an easy way out.

“It’s about playing well and targeting the teams above us.”