sport

Gardyne confident of safety

Kilmarnock midfielder Michael Gardyne is confident they have the quality and character to avoid the relegation play-off, by tightening the noose on his former club Ross County.

Killie wasted a chance last weekend to move six points clear of the Scottish Premiership play-off spot when they lost 2-1 at home to relegation rivals Partick Thistle.

But on Saturday they have another opportunity to move away from second-bottom when they travel to Dingwall to challenge the team now occupying that slot, Ross County.

County are just two points behind Kilmarnock, who, if they win on Saturday, would open a five-point gap.

Gardyne said: "We have four massive games left and it doesn't get much harder than going away to Ross County. But we have been looking good in training this week and we are feeling confident.

"There is a bit of pressure there but when it comes to a Saturday you need to forget about that and just go and play your game.

"I think we've got the players and characters in there that can get us out of this.

"There are only three points between five teams so it could be anyone that goes in there. It just depends who turns up each Saturday and we need to make sure we are winning our games.

"It's good for the fans but we need to make sure it's good for us at the end of it."

Gardyne helped Ross County win promotion into the top division in 2008 but he has no qualms about helping send them back to the second tier.

The on-loan Dundee United player said: "I'm still in regular contact with a few of the boys but that goes out the window this week. Hopefully I can get one over on my old pals."

Hearts are already relegated but, at the end of the normal season, the second from bottom club in the Premiership will go into a two-leg play-off against the winner of play-offs between the teams finishing second, third and fourth in the Championship.