The fight­back has to start some­where – so let’s make it Dundee

Paisley Daily Express - - Theti Cket - We’ve walked this road be­fore.

Into the dark­ness, into Dundee. Lit­tle or no hope, but be­lief that to­day could be the day.

Well... to­mor­row, if you catch my drift.

It doesn’t take me to tell you the im­por­tance of to­mor­row’s game at Dens. It doesn’t take Oran Kear­ney, Stephen McGinn or any­one else to reaf­firm just how sig­nif­i­cant a re­sult ei­ther way could be for the re­main­der of St Mir­ren’s sea­son.

We are pre­par­ing for week 13 – and it should ul­ti­mately be un­lucky for some... un­less it’s a draw.

Saints’ seven de­feats on the spin can be qual­i­fied by an up­turn in per­for­mances against the likes of Rangers and Celtic. But then again, per­for­mances are all well and good but with­out any points on the board the ef­fort has been lit­tle more than fu­tile.

Last year’s team were his­tory boys for all the right rea­sons, this year the cur­rent crop of Saints are vy­ing not to be the sin­ners as they be­gin to ri­val the his­tory books for all the wrong rea­sons when it comes to los­ing runs.

But with ev­ery game comes op­por­tu­nity.

It has, so far, been a case of what­ever St Mir­ren can do, we will do worse when it comes to Dundee.

The boys from Dens Park hold the tag of be­ing the only side that the Bud­dies have beaten all year – and that was way back in Au­gust.

Both sides have since got shot of the man­agers that they be­lieved were bring­ing them down. But nei­ther side has seen an im­prove­ment in the re­sults col­umn.

How­ever, we have been here be­fore where a pos­i­tive run kick-started the re­vival to top all sur­vivals.

Just two years ago, we got in our cars, boarded trains and jumped on sup­port­ers’ buses for the trip to Tay­side in the Scot­tish Cup.

With lit­tle or no hope given to a side rooted to the foot of the Cham­pi­onship, Saints were rank out­siders for the clash, with one eye on sim­ply turn­ing their for­tunes around when it came to the league.

But what fol­lowed was a stun­ning per­for­mance that many play­ers in that squad, in­clud­ing Ste­vie Mal­lan and Gary Irvine, have pin­pointed as the cat­a­lyst for the run that saw them beat the drop in the most dra­matic of fash­ions.

Goals from John Sut­ton and Jack Baird handed the Pais­ley side clear pas­sage to the next round of the Scot­tish Cup de­spite the odds be­ing stacked against them be­fore a ball was even kicked.

In truth, it could and should have been even more as the Saints pro­duced their best per­for­mance of the sea­son to dom­i­nate their op­po­nents for large spells of the game.

In hind­sight, the re­sult, against Pre­mier­ship op­po­si­tion, was all the more re­mark­able when you look at the side Saints fielded.

O’Brien, Fjelde, Irvine, Baird, MacKen­zie, Ma­gen­nis (Whyte 74), Sto­rie, Mal­lan, McAl­lis­ter ( MacPher­son 90), Mor­gan, Sut­ton (Clark­son 85).

Subs not used: Lang­field, Web­ster, McLear and O’Keefe.

You could count the amount of games on one hand that Pal Fjelde and Craig Sto­rie man­aged for St Mir­ren, Kyle McAl­lis­ter and Kyle Ma­gen­nis were 17 and 18 re­spect­fully, while de­buts for Dar­ren Whyte and Cammy MacPher­son were more out of nec­ces­sity than any­thing else.

Else­where, new boy Ste­lios Demetriou had to set­tle for a seat in the stand, with St Mir­ren still await­ing in­ter­na­tional clear­ance to play the Cypriot.

More im­por­tantly though, that day at Dens gave Saints the build­ing blocks to piece to­gether a sim­i­lar sea­son that had been fraight with is­sues since day one.

For 90 min­utes, the woes of what had fol­lowed were for­got­ten, and the cur­rent Saints side have the op­por­tu­nity to do the same to­mor­row.

If the Bud­dies can fi­nally click into gear then it could be the start of some­thing.

It will be no less dif­fi­cult than the last fight for sur­vival that’s for sure, but you’ve got to start some­where.

Turn­ing point St Mir­ren play­ers cel­e­brate Jack Baird’s sec­ond of the Scot­tish Cup clash at Dundee in Jan­uary last year

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