THEY’RE on their way and they deserve to be there, but will St Mirren have what it takes to make a good fist of it when they return to the Premiership?

Captain Stephen McGinn certainly believes so after leading a sensational campaign in which the Paisley side blew everyone else out of the water to become worthy Ladbrokes Championship winners.

It is an incredible tale given the depths the club have come from in the past 18 months and McGinn hopes that if Jack Ross can keep all of his top performers and enhance the group they can survive.

However, McGinn knows that heavy defeats to Partick Thistle and Aberdeen in the cup competitions this season are proof of the challenge that lies ahead.

The 29-year-old said: “We know how tough it will be next season. Some of the cup games this season have given us an indication of the step up.

“I’m not naïve enough to think that we can go up and just play the way we have been playing this season.

“We want to keep as many players as we can in the same way we did it last season and have a real go at it next season.

“We’re obviously losing Lewis Morgan, which is a massive blow. But we thank him for what he has contributed since January.

“It’s not easy being a young player when you have a big move to keep playing at a high level but he did that.

“And no-one is happier than him about our success which is so pleasing.

“Not everyone in my personal life supported the decision for me to come back to St Mirren because it was seen as a bit of a sinking ship.

“But I knew how good it would be if we could get to this stage.

“I didn’t think it would happen in 18 months but it just shows you what can happen when everyone pulls in one direction.

“The punters have come back too and the backing we have had – especially the section opposite the main stand - has been magnificent.

“Everyone has played their part in what has been a marvellous season.

“It got a bit emotional when we went in to the last 30 seconds and the crowd knew we were going to do it.

“I probably didn’t enjoy the first five minutes after we won it because I was a bit of a wreck.

“The journey we have been on since last January is amazing and one we can be so proud of.

“We’re back where we belong.”

McGinn admitted he shouldn’t have played in the last two matches but insisted he had to be there to finish off the job.

He said: “It was real pressure last season when we had to go to Easter Road and get a point and the manager made that point before the game.

“I feel as if some of the performances this season have been terrific and the players have really delivered in high profile games.

“I shouldn’t really have been playing the last couple of games.  I think I was a bit of a man down in the second half at Tannadice

“I think I got a small tear in my hamstring in training last week but at this stage of the season you have to deal with it.

“I don’t think I could have handled watching the side so I’m really glad I got through Saturday’s game.”

Under the radar, amid the wild celebrations in Paisley it was also a great day for Livingston as they secured a play-off place barely a year after winning League One.

Boss David Hopkin said: “It’s been hard work over the two years I have been manager and it’s bearing fruit now. We have a lot of young players who are really progressing coupled with some great signings.

“It’s great that we’ve clinched a play-off spot but I hope that we can go on and clinch second place because I think we deserve it.

“It would a great achievement if we finish above Dunfermline and Dundee United, two massive clubs who really should be Premiership clubs,” added the former Scotland international. 

Elsewhere in the Championship, Dundee United took a big step towards sealing a play-off spot after Thomas Mikkelsen’s early goal was enough to beat Falkirk, who travel to St Mirren tomorrow night. 

United are fourth, level on points with Dunfermline but behind on goal difference. They do however have a game in hand on the Pars, who beat Brechin City 4-0 with goals from Lee Ashcroft, Fraser Aird, Andy Ryan and a Kallum Higginbotham penalty.

Dumbarton will be looking to do a lot better at home tomorrow against Inverness Caledonian Thistle than on Saturday in the Highlands, when goals from Aaron Doran, a Nathan Austin hat-trick and an Iain Vigurs strike saw a 5-1 result despite Grant Gallagher putting the visitors ahead. 

A Lyndon Dykes winner for Queen of the South leaves Morton five points behind Dundee United.