Scottish Premier League

Donnelly looking to regain form

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Fri, 03 May 2013 17:51:00

Watford full-back Ikechi Anya is determined to make it three victories in a row and ensure they have done their part should events at Hull transpire in their favour.

The Hornets' automatic promotion hopes have been boosted by back-to-back wins over Blackburn and Leicester.

"Things aren't in our hands, we all know that. We need to do what we can do," Anya told www.watfordfc.com.

"The only thing we can control is the three points at the Watford game and then, after that is finished, we can look at the other score."

One of Hull or Watford will be in the play-offs with Brighton, while the pursuit for the final two spots will also go down to the wire.

Crystal Palace harboured hopes of automatic promotion, yet they may miss out on the play-offs altogether due to a nine-game winless run.

However, with a two-point advantage and a superior goal-difference over Bolton and Nottingham Forest, a point against struggling Peterborough should be enough.

The Trotters are in sixth, level on points with Forest, and host Blackpool while Billy Davies' side entertain Leicester, who could also sneak in should they win and Bolton fail to.

The Rugby Park outfit narrowly missed out on booking their place in the top half of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League ahead of the split and, in matches since then, have struggled to pick up the points.

Killie lost to both Hearts and Aberdeen in their last two outings but McKenzie backed them to return to form in time to end the season on a positive note.

He said: "There are three games left and we feel that we can take nine points from those games.

"We just need to finish the season on a high. We feel as though we owe it to the fans.

"Things didn't go our way for the top six but if we can finish the season well, the fans will be happy and we can look forward to next season."

The 19-year-old has been satisfied with his own campaign but believes there is more to come next term.

He said: "I would like to have played a bit more and scored a few more goals but I broke into the first team and I played more games than I initially expected to and I played with the Scotland Under-21s.

"On the whole, it's been a good season and I know what I need to improve on for next season.

"I know what I need to work on in training and you can see that paying off when I play."

His immediate aim is to force his way back into boss Kenny Shiels' plans ahead of Sunday's visit of Hibernian after missing the last two games with a sickness bug.

He said: "I'm hoping to be back in the side. I've missed two games with a virus so I'm buzzing to be back.

"I was looking forward to the Hearts game. I didn't know if I would be playing or not but thought there was a good chance I would be playing so it was disappointing."

He added: "I'm expecting a good game this weekend.

"Leigh Griffiths always seems to do well against us so we need to keep him at bay.

"He's certainly the main man in the Hibs team and he has had an unbelievable season. He is a good player to watch."

The Taysiders have suffered successive post-split defeats to both Motherwell and Ross County to all but dash their hopes of securing a place in Europe.

United were pipped by Celtic in their recent Scottish Cup semi-final defeat after extra-time and now have only three SPL games left in which to try and finish the season on a high.

And Donnelly wants to see them banish their recent dip by getting the better of European hopefuls Saints.

He said: "That's got to be our aim.

"We obviously want to finish as high as we can with the games that are left.

"We got into the top-six and it was great with the Aberdeen result but since then it has been a wee bit flat which we want to change.

"We had a good performance in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic and we were a wee bit unlucky in the two games since.

"We didn't start the Motherwell game well and Friday night up at Ross County was a wee bit disappointing for us as well.

"But there are three games to go and you want to kick on as much as possible.

"You've got one eye on preparations for next year but we've got three games to play and nine points.

"Our message is let's go and try and get the nine points.

"It's a knock-on effect for everybody.

"There are players out of contract and there's the financial side of it for the club as well with moving positions in the league so we've got to go and approach these games like any other game."

Donnelly reckons the issue of professional pride will spur them on as well against Steve Lomas' men.

He said: "That's a big thing.

"There's self pride at stake as well.

"There might be chances there for boys to go and show us what they've got.

"The two young lads Ryan Gauld and John Souttar in particular have come in, have done really well and have held their own in the games they've played.

"We're definitely looking forward to the three games and it's not a case of winding down here - we want to kick on and win these games."

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