ST KILDA hopes to secure coach Alan Richardson to a long-term contract extension before the start of next season, confident he is the man to lead its pursuit of its first premiership since 1966.

Richardson is contracted until the end of 2018 and CEO Matt Finnis said the club was confident the fourth-year coach was the right man for the job. 

It has been reported that Richardson's management have opened discussions with the Saints about a new deal. 

"I couldn't be more certain that he's the man to lead our footy program in the longer term," Finnis told Melbourne radio station SEN.

"What the time takes in terms of when we get that contract looked at, that will be what it is.

"But I'm absolutely certain that he's the man to lead the Saints towards the finals, and well and truly to our next premiership."

Finnis said he would prefer to re-sign Richardson before the start of the 2018 season to avoid any ongoing speculation about the coach's future.

"We haven't put a timeframe on it," Finnis said.

"My sense is that we'd probably get it done before then (the start of next season).

"Really it's just a matter of working through that in the context of everything else that we're reviewing at this time of year in our footy program."

St Kilda is 11th on the ladder and is unlikely to make finals unless it wins its last two games against North Melbourne and Richmond and their fellow-eight contenders lose both of their final matches.  

"We would be really disappointed, because we set ourselves at the start of the year to make finals, so if we don't get there, that won't be a tick in the box at the end of the year," he said.

"From week to week, and then stepping back, we've got a sense of where we're at, and the things we're going to need to work on in the off-season, and that's not going to change a whole lot depending on one or two results."