St Mirren need to take league as seriously as cups

Written by Brian Corry.

There is a strange apathy towards league football down Paisley at the moment, and if we are not careful, this could have a real negative impact as the season draws to an end.

With a League Cup Final looming, and a home quarter final in the Scottish also on the horizon, the focus seems to be very much on the cups as opposed to the league, which would be acceptable if it was the fans acting like this given the lack of silverware over the decades, but after last weeks dismal defeat against an equally moribund Hibernian side, I hope the apathy has not spread to the dressing room.

Quite simply, Saints are not good enough to turn their form on and off. On a good day we are capable of beating anyone in Scotland (Except Hibs it seems), but equally on a poor day we are simply uninspiring. This is no different to any other side in the league bar Dundee of course, who have been left hopelessly exposed at no real fault of their own due to a ‘forced’ promotion, and Barry Smith has paid the ultimate price with his job as he became another victim of  the sheer rudderless bampotery of summer 2012 in Scottish football.

His home town team though, St. Mirren, continue to stutter in the SPL. Our form up until Saturday had been good, and equally we had several players in the best form of perhaps their Saints careers, but we were simply awful against a Hibs side that never look impressive, but seem to win with relative ease against us.

Leigh Griffiths was the man who inflicted the damage on Saints yet again, scoring his fifth against Saints this season and has now singlehandedly earned nine points for Hibs against us this season, as no other Hibee player has managed to net against the Buddies. He dispatched a controversial second half penalty awarded by Willie Collum beyond Craig Samson for the only goal of a match which seemed destined to end goalless.

As for Collum, he is the remarkable man who has managed to unite all Scottish football fans together and agree on one thing; he is as useful as a Karl Marx book at a Tory conference.  That is the nicest thing I have to say on that matter, and I’m sure along with Hearts fans, that we all pray he is not appointed referee for the cup final. But I have a bad feeling……….

On Saturday, Saints travel to Perth to play who we like to call the ‘Fakes’, in respect of the fact the Perth Saints were formed after us and gained entry to league football long after we helped form it, but it is all in good nature of course.

This match represents our last chance to make the top six, and I think only victory will do at this stage if we have any aspirations to achieve this goal. The ‘Fakes’ earned a solid point against Celtic during the week, and will be fancying their chances against a Saints side whom they have an excellent record against in the SPL.

With Nigel Hasselbaink almost certain to score for the Saintees, Saints will need to find a couple of goals at least to save their SPL season in my view, but Steven Thompson is due a goal after firing a blank in his last three, whilst Isma Goncalves is suffering a goal drought, having now went a whole two matches without netting.

If Saints can find their pre Hibs form, they are capable of saving their season and winning in Perth, but the race is definitely on to find much needed crucial momentum before the vital cup matches.

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