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Alex Jakubiak challenges St Mirren to "thrive" off pressure of relegation battle

Alex Jakubiak challenges St Mirren to
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Saints could be bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership come full-time on Wednesday or as high as ninth.

Alex Jakubiak enjoyed watching footage of St Mirren's play-off celebrations after staving off relegation last season – but he would much rather have the quiet satisfaction of getting out of trouble weeks in advance.

The forward believes they can use the threat of that late-season tension to fire them away from the bottom of the table as they prepare to host Hearts in a crucial game in the survival fight.

Saints could be bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership come full-time on Wednesday or or as high as ninth and Jakubiak wants to make the season finale as stress-free as possible.

The on-loan Watford player said: "I feel like we can thrive off the pressure. We need to use it in a positive way and not let it make things harder for ourselves and not affect our performance on the pitch.

"We need to keep that distance from the teams below us. We don't want to go into the last few games and make it harder for ourselves.

"When you get to this stage, where we are at, that would probably be an achievement for us, to stay in the league.

"But as good as it would feel to stay up, maybe through the play-offs, we don't want it to get to that stage in the first place and put ourselves through that stress, put the club and the fans through that stress.

"I have not been involved in it to that sense but I have seen the highlights of last season when they did stay up. The celebrations were great but I'm sure the weeks leading up to that weren't so good."

Jakubiak has helped several loan clubs steer their way out of trouble and feels that experience could be useful.

"When I was at Falkirk two years ago, we nearly went down. We managed to stay up quite late in the season.

"And I've had a few spells when I've been in the relegation zone and we managed to claw our way out of it.

"But the main thing through that is hard work and not thinking too much about what might happen and just taking it game by game.

"Players might not say it but I feel like you might go home and it be on your mind and it would affect you.

"You have got to do the best you can to block that out and just focus on what you can do, which is the next game.

"The most I can do is, when given the chance, do what I can to help the team.

"I can use that experience to maybe speak to other players, if there is someone who might be down or seem worried about the situation, just let them know that we need pull your finger out, do what we can to stay up.

"It might come to a point where we are literally fighting to stay in the league but if that's what you have got to do, then we have to do that."

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Daniel Stendel pictured in charge of Barnsley in October 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Celtic30262289197080
2RangersRangers29214464194567
3Motherwell30144124138346
4Aberdeen3012994036445
5Livingston30109114139239
6Hibernian30910114249-737
7St Johnstone2981292846-1836
8Kilmarnock3096153141-1033
9St Mirren3078152441-1729
10Ross County3078152960-3129
11Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3069153050-2027
12Hearts30411153152-2123

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