Kilmarnock can push for top-three finish, says Stephen O'Donnell

Kilmarnock will be pushing to finish third in the Scottish Premiership but only after they are safe in the top six, says right-back Stephen O'Donnell.

The Ayrshire side are currently fourth - a point behind Aberdeen - with nine games to go.

O'Donnell's side travel to Ibrox to face Rangers on Saturday, then host Hamilton Academical on 30 March.

"We've over achieved for the past two seasons," said Scotland defender O'Donnell, 26.

"We can't afford to get ahead of ourselves. When we start to think we're better than we are we lose the heart and the soul of the team.

"We need make sure we focus on hitting the first target, which is being safe in the top six and when that comes, if we are on the coattails of Aberdeen, there is no doubt we will be trying to finish third.

"If we're not at that stage then it's not disappointment finishing in the top six."

Kilmarnock, who finished fifth last term, beat St Mirren on Monday to end a run of eight games without a win.

Manager Steve Clarke lost Greg Stewart in January, the Birmingham City forward joining Aberdeen on loan after spending the first half of the season at Rugby Park, while Alex Bruce, Youssouf Mulumbu and Liam Millar arrived in East Ayrshire.

"It takes time for these players to come in and have an impact," O'Donnell told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound. "We have missed Greg Stewart's impact but we are a side that works hard and hopefully the St Mirren game was the sign of bouncing back again.

"These games weren't easy games and other than the Rangers game, the 5-0 defeat, we were in every single one of the games.

"It was a solid performance against St Mirren and we got a wee bit of the rub of the green at the end and hopefully we can take that into Ibrox."

'Rangers need to show reaction' - analysis

Former Rangers striker Steven Thompson on Sportsound

It'll be interesting to see what sort of reaction Rangers have. They absolutely have to show a reaction. Will they be feeling a wee bit nervy?

Former Celtic striker Craig Beattie on Sportsound

From a Rangers point of view, Kilmarnock's not the game you want. A team that are very, very well organised, a team that have got great structure to them and a really good manager. That's not the game you want to have to get a reaction in.

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