Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell insists the Staggies players must be prepared to deal with the pressure that will come in their remaining eight Premiership matches.
County’s remaining matches will all be against teams in the bottom half of the table, with their three pre-split matches all against sides currently below them.
The Staggies’ run-in starts with Saturday’s visit of Hamilton Accies, with the ninth-placed Dingwall men looking to extend the gap on their opponents who have clawed back to within two points of them.
Kettlewell knows the stakes will be high in their forthcoming games, and he says his players must be able to handle the heat against teams battling for the same survival goal.
Kettlewell said: “Teams will want to rein us in, but we will be sitting at the other end seeing if we can piece together results and some victories to force our way towards the clubs currently above us.
“I’m a firm believer, having been involved in similar situations as a player, it is all about how you deal with the pressures that come in these games.
“There’s pressure trying to win a league or qualify for Europe and there’s certainly pressures in trying to stay in a league.
“How do you deal with that? How do you cope with the pressures that come?
“We’d like to limit that to less than eight games but, as it stands, it looks like it is going to be the eight.
“As a player, you have to be somebody who relishes that challenge and who looks forward to the next game.”
County’s record against their bottom half rivals, which has seen them pick up 12 points from a possible 18 so far this season, gives him confidence ahead of the final push.
He added: “We had a chat with our players after the Rangers game and highlighted that we’ve got a very good record against the bottom six clubs in the division, as it stands.
“I don’t think we’ve lost a game here at home to a bottom six club.
“We’re not playing Rangers and Celtic every few weeks now and that’s not being disrespectful to anybody else.
“That’s the fact of the matter.
“We have to make sure we deal with the situations against the bottom six clubs like we have done, pretty much throughout the season.”
Kettlewell refused to be disheartened following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers, adding: “We felt a real sense of anger as a group after the Motherwell game, just through the nature of the defeat.
“It was more gut-wrenching against Rangers on Sunday because we felt we’d executed the gameplan really well.
“We were looking for our wee slice of luck, but I’m a big believer that will come to us at some point. We go to try and make our next piece of luck on Saturday against Hamilton.”