Sport Jim Goodwin says it's tough to ask 'decimated' St Mirren squad to keep digging deep and reveals key mentality shift
Jim Goodwin issues Celtic 'no fear' rallying cry as St Mirren look to pile misery on under pressure Neil Lennon
Buddies boss is looking for a repeat of their stunning victory over the Hoops just 10 days ago.Goodwin’s rampant St Mirren side piled the misery on the under-siege Celtic boss when they plundered three points from Parkhead for the first time in 31 years just 10 days ago.
Jim Goodwin admits it’s tough to keep asking his “decimated” squad to dig deep time and time again for the Buddies’ top-six push.
But themanager is confident his players have enough left in the tank to take them over the line and complete a historic finish.
The Paisley club have had a hectic run of fixtures which has seen them play nine games in just four weeks, with the side suffering a number of injuries to key players along the way.
Despite the difficult run the Saints are still in the top half, with Goodwin now tasking his players with finishing the job as they head into two crucial home games withand Ross County this week.
Buddie Banter: St Mirren close to ending marathon fixture test but top six hopes hinge on Ross County win
Express sport reporter Ben Ramage looks ahead to St Mirren's pivotal clash with Ross County.Well, that has certainly been put to the test as the Saints head into their eleventh game in less than five weeks tomorrow afternoon.
Speaking to Express Sport, he said: “I’m confident the players are okay fitness-wise. Obviously we’ve had far too many injuries of late.
“The squad is decimated and I have asked a lot of a number of players who probably haven’t played as much football as we’d have liked.
“The likes of Ryan Flynn have been asked to give a hell of a lot lately. He’d only just came back into the team for the Dundee United game after being out for going on 12 months.
“Guys like that probably could do with a break but at the moment we just don’t have the resources or players available to do that.
“It’s about mentality now. It’s about characters and we’ve got those in our squad. It’s about digging in now. Obviously there’s going to be tired legs in there but we can’t allow ourselves to think that way.
Michael Stewart issues strong Celtic defence of Greg Taylor after Jim Goodwin's 'name and shame' demand
The BBC pundit reckons that while a penalty shouldn't have been awarded, Taylor didn't dive to win it in the first place.The Hoops ran out 4-0 winners in midweek but their crucial second came from an Odsonne Edouard penalty after the former Killie defender went down in the box.
“We’ve got to realise we’ve got four cup finals coming our way. We’ve got to go and try and take as many points as possible from our remaining games.
“There’s teams behind us in very close proximity. St Johnstone are the ones to watch for me because not a lot of people are talking about them, but they’re one of the form teams in the league.
“You wouldn’t bet against them going and winning their next couple of league games, so we’ve got to get the job done. Starting on Wednesday we’ve got to get back to winning ways.”
Goodwin insists a change of mentality and recruitment has helped drive the standards upwards in Paisley this campaign.
And he believes finishing in the top half would be a massive achievement for everyone involved with the club, including the supporters who have watched this potentially historic season from home.
He said: “We don’t have a sports psychologist. It’s something that I’ve done a lot of reading and research on. I’ve watched a lot of sports documentaries and everyone talks about the message from the leaders within the group.
Accies beating St Mirren can pull others into relegation scrap, says boss Brian Rice
The Hamilton gaffer says three points in Paisley tomorrow can be a huge survival boostThree points in Paisley would pull Accies up into 10th place, two points above Kilmarnock and with a game in hand, and Rice says that has to be the target.
“It’s plainly obvious if you’re talking about survival and about just finishing in tenth every season then subconsciously that festers away with the players.
“We have put it out there from day one what we expect from them. We’ve told them when we’re signing them that they’re coming in to help us get to the top six.
“The recruitment was really important in the summer. We brought in players who have been there and done it, the likes of Joe Shaughnessy and Richard Tait.
“We’re in a good position to do it. People questioned why I did it and experienced people in the game have been telling me it’s not advisable because you shouldn’t put that pressure on yourself or the players.
“I’m not interested in that. I’d rather send out a positive message to our supporters. We’re not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. I’d rather have that ambition and fail than be satisfied with just being mediocre.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to go and do something no other team that’s played for St Mirren has done.
“It would be a great achievement for everybody, from the boardroom all the way down to the staff, the players and of course something for the supporters to be very proud of.”
Accies need to kick on after huge derby win, says defender Jamie Hamilton .
The 18-year-old says Wednesday night's clash at St Mirren is massive for their hopes of Premiership survivalThe 18-year-old was delighted with the 4-1 win against Motherwell at Fir Park and says adding that to the 1-1 draw at home to Rangers last weekend is huge for Brian Rice's side.