OBIKA’S COMEBACK KINGS
Brace hero says spirit in training inspired him
WITH regular showers of rain driving in, a gusting, chilly wind swirling about and the kind of grisly temperature that almost led to the shivering fitba’ scribblers applying lagging to their laptops, this was a tough old day in Paisley.
Given the general conditions, you had to give credit to both sets of players for providing a spectacle that may not have been oozing with invention but had plenty of admirable, tenacious industry. What else would you expect from Scottish football in the depths of December? Thanks to a brace from Jon Obika, St Mirren showed considerable resolve to claw themselves back from 3-1 down to grab a deserved draw.
In the end, a share of the spoils was about right. Having wiped out the two-goal deficit, Obika gave a little insight into the fighting qualities that have been instilled into the St Mirren ranks by the manager Jim Goodwin. Given Goodwin’s own combative character, you wouldn’t expect anything else.
“In training, there are times in the five-a-side games when a team is maybe 4-1 down and the gaffer is really pushing that team to try and fight back,” said the 29-year-old Obika.
“He believes the team can still win and it actually happened in training not so long ago. I feel the boys may have drawn from that experience in training and were able to get a good result against Livingston.”
St Mirren had conceded a poor second goal right on half-time and then fell further behind not long after the resumption but, with their backs against the wall, St Mirren came out fighting and Obika’s double salvaged a draw.
“In the end, I felt as though the point was deserved,” added Obika, whose good day at the office also included an assist for St Mirren’s opening goal. “We lost a sloppy goal just
Everyone is on the same wave length
before half-time and I felt that pushed the boys to start sharp in the second half.
“After that third goal, most people would have thought we were dead and buried, but we kept pushing and were able to get a point. As a striker, getting the goals and the assists are the icing on the cake.”
Obika began his career with Tottenham Hotspur and has been around the houses on a variety of loan deals as well as more prolonged stints at Swindon and Oxford. St Mirren is suiting him down to a tee.
“It’s the first time I’ve been at a club where everyone is on the same wave length,” he said. “From the management and down to the chefs, it’s a real family club. You want to do the best for them.”
While Obika doubled up for St Mirren, Livingston’s assault was spearheaded by Aymen Souda who notched a brace of his own. Those were his first goals in the league this season.
“It hasn’t seemed to be working for him in the league because those are his first goals but you could see that he has the quality to make things happen,” said his teammate, Steven Lawless. “He has that in his locker and long may it continue because if he’s doing that and we’re getting goals from all through the team, it can only help us. He hasn’t been putting in bad performances but he just hasn’t been finishing the way we know he can do.
“Hopefully, he can build on this display because he certainly brings something different to the team.”
Jon Obika inspired St Mirren to claw back a two-goal deficit to Livingston, with the striker grabbing a second-half brace