Motherwell manager Stuart McCall refused to write off Dundee United for a Champions League berth despite moving five points clear in third place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 5-1 victory over St Johnstone at Fir Park.
McCall's side took full advantage of Hearts' late equaliser at Tannadice to extend their lead with their first win in five games.
The home side never looked back after Michael Higdon netted a 17th-minute penalty and Nicky Law netted from close range three minutes later.
The recalled Jamie Murphy volleyed home from 16 yards just after the break and substitute Henrik Ojamaa scored a late double on the break after Liam Craig had pulled one back from the spot.
United now face both sides of the Old Firm ahead of their final-day visit to Fir Park but they have won their last two games against Rangers, and Motherwell next travel to Tynecastle and Ibrox, venues where they have lost this season without scoring.
McCall said: "There are still nine points and we have two really tough away games. I watched the majority of the Hearts game and I thought they were excellent up at Tannadice.
"With lads like (David) Templeton and (Mehdi) Taouil on the bench, they have got good footballers and they are all fighting to be involved in the cup final.
"Then we go to Rangers, which will be their last home game of the season so they will obviously want to put in a performance.
"So we might need to win the last game against Dundee United, you just can't foresee it.
"There is no taking our foot off the pedal, we will go well prepared to a tough venue on Tuesday night."
Motherwell, who have only been outside the top three for 10 days in January, rediscovered top form just when it looked like they might struggle to hold off a resurgent United.
McCall had a full-strength squad for the first time since August, with Steve Jennings and Keith Lasley restored in central midfield following recent suspensions, and their front players all shone.
Chris Humphrey was the star of the show, winning the penalty and laying on two goals.
"All week we have been geeing ourselves up and speaking about how important it was to win this game," the winger said.
"We had to go out and win, especially with the form Dundee United are in. The lads were absolutely terrific."
Humphrey has been Motherwell's best player over the last two months, working his way back into the team following a spell on the bench.
"You get your head around things and look at your performance and think you deserve to be left out," he said.
"The players that come in do well and you can't moan about it. But you have to keep your motivation and stay strong and when the gaffer calls you back in you have to show him that you are not getting sidelined again.
"It would have been nice to have got a goal, that's probably the only thing lacking now, but I'm always happy to set goals up."
Humphrey admitted Steven Anderson was unfortunate to concede the penalty when the stand-in left-back slipped and collided with him.
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas disagreed with referee Bobby Madden's decision but admitted it ultimately had little impact as his side delivered the worst performance of his reign.
Lomas lost striker Cillian Sheridan and right-back Dave Mackay to injury late in the week after already being without suspended top goalscorer Francisco Sandaza, left-back Callum Davidson and winger Lee Croft.
Saints now face Celtic and a battle to maintain their one-point lead over Hearts in order to guarantee a Europa league spot.
"When we lose key players, we're a bottom-six team," said Lomas, who hopes to have Sheridan back at Parkhead.
"The continuity that has proved crucial to us this season has gone missing in the last two weeks.
"But on saying that, the boys that were out there have to do better.
"We've got to regroup for Celtic on Thursday. They will have to pick up the level of their performance or it will be a rout.
"Now is the time they show what they are all about. We will see who the true men are."