Ross County manager Jim McIntyre’s recruitment budget could receive a £200,000 tonic if the Staggies can rise from sixth place in the Premiership to finish the season in fourth place.
The Staggies are three points behind fourth-placed Motherwell and two points adrift of Saturday’s opponents, fifth-placed St Johnstone.
County have secured a top-six position for the second time since winning promotion from Division 1 in 2012, having gone on to finish in fifth place in their maiden top-flight campaign.
McIntyre, pictured below, says a strong finish to the current season will aid his preparations for next term, adding: “It’s very important and that’s the big carrot for all three clubs chasing fourth place.
“It could mean a couple of extra players if clubs manage to finish a place or two further up the table.
“It’s a huge incentive for all the clubs and we want to finish as high as we can as well.
“If we were to get into that fourth spot it would be the highest we’ve ever finished in the Premiership, so that’s the goal for us.”
County got their post-split fixtures off to a fine start, coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against leaders Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday.
St Johnstone and Motherwell both bettered the Staggies’ result however, with victories against Aberdeen and Hearts, and McIntyre expects the race for fourth to go right to the wire.
He added: “Arguably we had the toughest game to start with, while both Motherwell and St Johnstone had fantastic results.
“They showed just how much they want fourth place as well.
“It’s there to play for and all three teams deserve great credit for the results they got over the past weekend.
“Motherwell are the form team in the league just now.
“They’ve been on an unbelievable run – similar to what we did last year to stay up. They’ve come from a position in the league where they were worried for a few weeks, but went straight into the top six.
“They deserve massive credit as well for what they’ve done.
“St Johnstone have shown character and consistency again to get into the top six for five years on the trot, which doesn’t surprise me.”