Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels insists his side can take pride from a point against a St Mirren team he tips to challenge for Europe next season.
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The Rugby Park side are chasing a Clydesdale Bank Premier League top-six finish and a win against the Buddies would have put them within touching distance of their aim.
But after Kris Boyd grabbed his first Kilmarnock goal in eight years to cancel out Esmael Goncalves' opener for the Buddies, they failed to find a winner and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
A win at home to Dundee on Saturday would still be enough to see Kilmarnock into the upper half of the table but Shiels insisted the result against Danny Lennon's Scottish Communities League Cup winners was not to be sniffed at.
He said: "We did exceptionally well against a team who, if we do make it into the top six, we won't find a harder opponent than.
"They have got quality right through the team and people have to start recognising teams like St Mirren.
"If they can keep their team together they have got a great chance of making Europe next season. I'm really impressed with St Mirren and I'm glad we were able to match them.
"In the second half we looked the more likely side to score. I don't know if their goal was offside but that is not relevant now."
While Shiels was eager to praise Kilmarnock's opponents, Lennon could not let his side go without a telling-off after their display dipped after the break.
He said: "Kilmarnock came out for the second half and squeezed the game a lot higher and stopped us moving the ball as well as we had been.
"We have got to handle that side of things better. We made poor decisions in terms of the possession we had.
"But it was still a well-earned point with some beautiful football in the first half and plenty of character, commitment and sweat to see ourselves through.
"It's great because the boys are showing a positive mentality right now. Before the cup final we went up to Dundee, went 1-0 up but missed chance after chance and Dundee came back out and turned it round.
"But tonight we showed that other side to dig in and hold on to a valuable point."