Cammy Bell insists Kilmarnock are approaching the ultimate football crossroads.
Take one turn and he’s confident they find a route back towards the top six. Take the other and it’s a road to potential Championship rack and ruin.
If Killie can’t successfully navigate the home clash with St Mirren tomorrow followed by Sunday’s trip to Hamilton then Bell fears the journey ahead will be laden with potholes and bumps for years to come.
The former Rugby Park hero knows only too well how difficult getting out of the second tier can be after his spells at Rangers and Dundee United.
He can’t believe his old side are in the drop zone mix with just two games of the regular season remaining.
Only two years ago they were packing their bags for a trip back into Europe after Steve Clarke led them to a sensational third place finish.
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But a couple of managerial appointments backfired causing a slide in Ayrshire before Tommy Wright ’s arrival put the brakes on a season skidding badly out of control.
Now Bell hopes the Northern Irishman - whom he worked under briefly at St Johnstone - can complete his rescue act and ensure Killie take their top flight journey into a 29th consecutive year.
If he can then the former Rugby Park hero reckons the Wright man will have them gunning back towards the top six next year.
If not then it could be years in the doldrums.
Bell, who lifted the League Cup with Killie in 2012 and has eight years over two spells with the club, said: “It’s a nervy week for everyone associated with the club and the fans including myself. You don’t want to see Kilmarnock in the Championship.
“I’ve played both Premiership and Championship and while the quality isn’t as good there’s more energy and work rate which makes it such a hard league.
“I would fear for Kilmarnock if they go down.
“Financially it would take a huge hit and you worry if the fans would stick with the club.
“There’s no guarantee they would go straight back up and we’ve seen even bigger teams struggle to get out at the first and even second attempt.
“The longer you spend there then the more the finances get hit and it affects budgets, maybe you have to scale back, which again reduces your chances of going up.
“If Kilmarnock went down it would be crucial they came back up straight away. Fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that.
“This week is massive. Everyone realises that.
“Nobody can say they enjoy games with this much pressure.
“The thing is Kilmarnock have a good squad with plenty of experience. If everyone is feeling fit and has energy in the legs then they have the players to carry them through.”
Bell is surprised by the situation his old club find themselves in. But after a couple of failed manager appointments he is certain they’ve got it third time lucky.
He said: “It’s been a bit broken since Steve Clarke left. It was always going to be difficult to follow in is footsteps.
“The appointment of Angelo Alessio didn’t go the way they hoped and then Alex Dyer didn’t work out either. Two managers who haven’t succeeded then you are always going to find yourself in trouble.
“They have Tommy in now. He is a good, experienced manager and they just need to get over the line this season so he can implement his ideas.
“He is a really good man-manager. Players know where they stand with him. He’s perfect for what Killie need and has been in the game that long, experienced good and bad, that he understands what is needed.
“If they can get over the line this week then Tommy will be a success.
“He proved with St Johnstone he knows how to be a regular in the top six and I think Killie, with some younger and fresh blood brought in, would be looking towards that.”