Teale tasked with tak­ing St Mir­ren to safe place

The Herald - Sport - - LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINALS - NICK RODGER

GARY TEALE has been charged with haul­ing St Mir­ren out of the rel­e­ga­tion mire af­ter the care­taker manager was handed the reins for the rest of the sea­son.

Teale, along with his as­sis­tant David Long­well, has been act­ing as in­terim manager since Tommy Craig was sacked in De­cem­ber and has won two, drawn one and lost six of the nine games he has been in charge.

St Mir­ren cur­rently lan­guish in the Scot­tish Premier­ship’s rel­e­ga­tion play-off place but the Pais­ley club’s top brass re­main con­fi­dent that Teale can turn the for­tunes around. “The Board and hope­fully the sup­port­ers will have no­ticed an im­prove­ment in per­for­mances dur­ing their short ten­ure,” said a state­ment re­leased by the club last night. “Gary and David are work­ing ex­tremely hard to bring in ad­di­tional play­ers to add to the squad be­fore Mon­day’s dead­line and hope­fully the hard work go­ing on be­hind the scenes will trans­fer into more pos­i­tive re­sults on the pitch for the re­main­der of the sea­son.”

St Mir­ren, who have signed for­mer Kil­marnock winger James Dayton on loan from Old­ham Ath­letic, will be hop­ing to dish up a pos­i­tive re­sult at Firhill tonight when they take on Partick This­tle.

While Teale con­tin­ues his man­age­rial du­ties, Marc McAus­land is set to hand the cap­tain’s arm­band back to the re­turn­ing Steven Thomp­son af­ter an eye-open­ing stint as the stand-in-skip­per.

They are not quite chis­elled into tablets of stone but there are cer­tain dos and don’ts that foot­ball play­ers have to live by on a daily ba­sis.

“You get fined for all sorts of things,” ex­plained McAus­land, as he painted a not -so pretty pic­ture of gen­eral dress­ing room squalor. “Be­ing late for games or train­ing, not wear­ing flip flops in the shower, leav­ing your dirty gear on the floor, not putting your train­ing kit in the bucket for the kit­man.

“Be­fore the Christ­mas night out, peo­ple were get­ting fined for ev­ery­thing, but that was just so we got the kitty up.”

The 26-year-old has clearly en­joyed his pe­riod of author­ity at the club hav­ing taken over the du­ties on a tem­po­rary ba­sis while Thomp­son re­cov­ered from in­jury.

“I even had to fine my­self for miss­ing the press last week, I just com­pletely for­got,” he ad­mit­ted. “I quite en­joy the re­spon­si­bil­ity. The boys are good and it’s been a case of try­ing to lift ev­ery­one’s spir­its. We’ve not been very good but I’ve tried to keep ev­ery­one up­beat.”

McAus­land and his St Mir­ren team­mates could do with a morale-booster tonight and the fact they are away from their own ground, a place that’s be­come about as com­fort­able as a bed of nails hav­ing not won there since last May, may just lift the mood.

All four of St Mir­ren’s league wins this sea­son have been achieved on the road and the 2-1 victory they claimed over This­tle the last time the sides met at Firhill is an­other source of com­fort to cling to.

“Per­son­ally, I pre­fer play­ing away from home,” said McAus­land, in the foot­balling sense of the phrase. “There’s not as much pres­sure on you. Maybe it’s a men­tal thing just be­cause of the way things have been go­ing for us this sea­son. It’s start­ing to be a bit of a bur­den play­ing at home th­ese days.”

This­tle, 10 points bet­ter off than tonight’s op­po­nents, romped to a 5-0 win over Hamil­ton in their last league match at home and boss Alan Archibald has sharp­ened his Jags with the ad­di­tion of loan sign­ings, Cal­lum Booth and Ryan Fin­nie.

Fin­nie, the for­mer Rangers and Hamil­ton right-back, joined the Firhill ranks yes­ter­day, 24 hours af­ter Booth ar­rived from Hiber­nian.

A win for This­tle tonight would see them move to within five points of the top six and mid­fielder Gary Fraser prefers to look for­ward in­stead of peer­ing over his shoul­der.

“The rel­e­ga­tion fears are never away but if we can for­get about the rel­e­ga­tion zone and con­cen­trate on try­ing to get in the top six then that will work for us in­stead,” he said.

SHOW OF FAITH: Teale has been tasked with haul­ing St Mir­ren to sur­vival with the side cur­rently sec­ond-bot­tom

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