The dreaded Scottish Premiership split is again on the horizon. But with the season going well for Stephen Robinson and St Mirren, Saints fans can look ahead to the partitioning of the league with optimism. Potentially, their club will be in the Championship zone for a second consecutive season.

Sadly, Stephen Robinson’s team won’t be challenging at the very top. The usual two suspects are at the top of the division again. But love or dislike them, at least the two Auld Firm rivals are providing fans of Scottish football with a competitive title race this season.

Is the Premiership title race going to the wire?

More often than not in recent years, either Celtic or the Rangers have run away with the league. Not this year. And with a third of the season remaining, the bookmakers can’t split the two bitter rivals. At the moment, Celtic and Rangers are both priced at odds of 5/6: it’s an equal contest for those betting on football.

Tips on football games indicate that although this situation is far from ideal for St Mirren, this battle for the title is better for Scottish football on the whole. In an ideal world, more than two teams would be involved in the title race, and one of those additional teams would be the Saints. But in the absence of an ideal world, at the very least, there needs to be a proper fight to the end between the two Glasgow clubs. This helps keep interest in the Scottish game alive for as long as possible.

Steady progression for the Saints

As for Stephen Robinson and St Mirren, their ceiling for the 2023/24 season looks to be a top-four finish. The two league leaders are gone, and Hearts also look uncatchable in third place.

Kilmarnock and Dundee look like the immediate rivals for the Saints. But they also can’t afford to take it for granted that Motherwell, Hibernian F.C. or Aberdeen won’t put a run together as they aim for the top six before the split.

In the 2022/23 season, Robinson led the club to a sixth-place finish. That needs to be the minimum aim again in 2023/24. Where Robinson and his team can improve is where and how they finish the campaign. Although they secured a top-half finish in 2023, the team did fall away badly, failing to win any of their last five matches, losing three and drawing two.

This season, for the team to progress, they would first need to secure a top-half finish. And then they’d need to kick on mightily to push for a fourth or fifth-position finish. That would ensure a season of growth. Stephen Robinson job speculation

One unwelcome consequence of the excellent job Stephen Robinson is doing is the constant speculation about what could come next. There’s always the rumour of ‘bigger jobs’ out there…

The Rangers’ speculation in October was understandable. And as annoying as it was for Saints’ fans, even the most ardent of supporters would understand it. But the links with the Hibernian job is the sort of speculation that really riles fans. The Edinburgh club might be regarded as bigger in the football world, but St Mirren fans looking at the league table are rightly going to be angry seeing their manager getting linked with clubs doing worse than the Saints are.