SAINTS star David van Zanten has warned his Buddies that securing a top six finish in the SPL could be even more difficult to achieve this season...despite the absence of Old Firm giants Rangers.
With the Ibrox fall guys dropping down into Division Three, two of last season’s First Division clubs – Ross County and Dundee – are now plying their trade in the top flight.
And that has led to suggestions that clubs such as St Mirren could find it easier to climb the table this season.
However, 30-year-old Irishman van Zanten is wary of such predictions – and insists Saints will need to be on top of their game if they are to make the breakthrough.
He reckons other SPL clubs, such as Aberdeen and today’s opponents Hibernian, will be desperate to burst into the top half after they fell well short last season.
Vanzy has been pleased with St Mirren’s start to the season – which sees them sitting pretty at the top of the SPL after managing a home draw with Inverness Caley Thistle and an away win at Dundee in their opening two games – but is experienced enough to know that each season brings its own ups and downs.
He told Express Sports: “We definitely want to improve on last year and we want to finish in the top six but the problem is that other teams have that ambition too.
“There will probably be three or four teams left disappointed when they don’t get in – and we have to make sure that we’re not one of them.
“In terms of the top six last year, there was no Hibs or Aberdeen. This season, their fans will demand it, so there are just two teams off the top of my head who definitely want to be there.
“Having said that, we are confident that, with the players we’ve got, we are capable of achieving our ambition.”