St Mirren boss Jack Ross insist avoiding the drop would be bigger than beating Celtic

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St Mirren manager Jack Ross insists avoiding relegation from the Championship would be bigger than inflicting a first domestic defeat on Celtic.

The Buddies gave Brendan Rodgers’ team a fright in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final at Parkhead after taking the lead through Harry Davis, before Celtic marksman Moussa Dembele mishit a clearance off his own bar.

After second goals from Mikael Lustig, Scott Sinclair, Dembele and Leigh Griffits secured a home victory, Hoops manager Rodgers even claimed that the tenth place second tier outfit are the best team Celtic have faced domestically.

The Paisley outfit are five points adrift of Ayr United ahead of Wednesday’s trip to fellow strugglers Raith Rovers and former Hearts coach Ross insists preserving their Championship status is a bigger challenge than stopping the Hoops.

He said: “I believe that if we turn this around in terms of the league position I believe it will be a bigger achievement than if we had gone to Celtic and won.

“A bigger achievement because it’s more important more important that we get out this position in the Championship.

“Wednesday night is a game where the players will have to replicate what they did on Sunday and I have every confidence that they will.”

St Mirren face Raith, Dunfermline, Dundee United and Queen of the South within eleven days and Ross admits having successive midweek matches is physical and mental challenge.

Speaking to stmirren.com, he said: “We’re in a good a place as we’ve been all season and that’s a good starting point in terms of the optimism, the mood and the belief we have in the changing room.

“We have a tough period in March with the number of games. If you had any choice, it’s not ideal.

“But at the same time, these players are in a groove, I think they feel good about themselves and they understand the importance of the league games.”

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