AT A stage of the season when so many players are wondering whether they might be wearing the colours of their club for the last time, Kris Boyd has encouraged his Kilmarnock team-mates to go into their pivotal match with St Mirren tonight with that exact mindset.

Kilmarnock have entered a slump at the worst possible time with four consecutive Scottish Premiership defeats leaving them in the play-off place with two matches left.

St Mirren visit Rugby Park with the pressure lifted after Kilmarnock's 5-0 defeat by Hearts on Sunday ensured the Paisley club's safety. But the heat is very much on the home side as they bid to move off 11th place ahead of Saturday's trip to Easter Road, with Allan Johnston's future as manager also up in the air.

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Boyd, who is out of contract in the summer, said: "We have proved this season that we can beat the teams round about us.

"The last few weeks we know ourselves have not been good enough but a couple of weeks before that we went to Motherwell and beat a team that's been in the top three all season.

"So we know we can do it and it's up to us to put everything into the game as if it might be the last game of football for Kilmarnock. In reality that's what it could be for a few. If we end up in that play-off position it could end up in cuts for the club.

"It's not nice but it's up to us, we know if we win our two games we'll be safe. But talk is cheap sometimes, the hard work is on the pitch."

The 30-year-old has been invaluable for Kilmarnock this season with his 20 league goals and he knows he and other experienced team-mates have to lead by example.

"We've a lot of youngsters and nine times out of 10 you learn from the bad things," the former Rangers striker said. "When you're doing things well, you think the world's your oyster, you can do whatever you want.

"It's not until something happens, that you get yourself into a position that you need to win games, that you really learn. The youngsters have never been in this position and we don't want to be in this position but the reality is we are.

"We need to be braver on the ball and take the ball in areas where we can start hurting the opposition."

St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin also admitted there is an air of uncertainty hanging over the Paisley squad, claiming they have been left in limbo with manager Danny Lennon undergoing talks of his own about his future.

Lennon, whose deal runs out at the end of the month, is still unsure whether he will be in charge when the new season kicks off. Goodwin and 12 of his team-mates are also out of contract this summer and the Irishman admits he does not expect to start negotiations on a new deal until Lennon's fate is decided.

He said: "It's all a bit pie in the sky at the moment. None of us know where we are going to be next year and our contracts are up in three weeks' time. It's obviously a bit of a concern for everybody involved, the manager included.

"Now that we are safe it will be nice to see if the club will make some offers and people aware of the situation. We have all got families to look after and bills to pay. We want to know where we are going to be."