St Johnstone: The View From The Opposition
Dundee and St Johnstone do Battle This Saturday in the Premiership at Dens Park in a Game in Which a Win for Either Will do Wonders for the Out of Form Clubs.
Dundee have not won at home in their last four games while St Johnstone are winless in their last five away matches.
We caught up with St Johnstone 1884 to gather his thoughts on his team at this moment.
It’s not been the best of seasons for St Johnstone compared to the previous years. What do you put this down to?
I don't think it's any one thing and there is probably a collective responsibility needing to be taken. The chairman maybe didn't support the manager enough in the summer but Tommy Wright has maybe at times chopped and changed too much and at others remained too loyal to some players. Quite a few of the players have had poor seasons as well and that's probably been the main contributing factor.
I know every team will bemoan bad luck but we've endured a fair bit this season, with poor refereeing decisions - including another one for the penalty at Kilmarnock on Wednesday - and a string on injuries. We are likely to be without 8 players for the game on Saturday.
I was a little surprised at the release of Paul Paton in the January window. How did this go down with the fans when the news came out? Also, how did you rate your clubs activity in that window?
I don't think anyone saw the Paton decision coming. He wasn't the best player in the squad but had played a lot this season and his replacements (Willock and Williams) were untested loans from England, neither of whom have made much impact yet. Our other signing was the prolific David McMillan from Ireland but the fact he got injured 20 minutes into his debut can sum up the way our season is going. January is a difficult month to recruit in and it's still hard to say whether we are better off or not a month down the line.
There has been a few whispers, especially after Paton’s release, in Dundee that Tommy Wright had lost some of the dressing room. Has there been any talk of this in Perth has it just been a case of some fans up to mischief?
I think it would be unwise for any player to go against Tommy Wright, there will only be one winner there! He'll be Saints manager for the foreseeable future and I think any player who wasn't pulling their weight would be shown the door pretty quickly. I don't think that was the case with Paton though.
Wednesday nights defeat to Kilmarnock more of less ended the Saints top 6 hopes. How do you see your season finishing? Will it be a nervy end, battling to get away from the play-off spot or do you see your team finish near the top half of the bottom 6? Or is it so tight right now, anything can happen?
Top six hasn't been realistic for a while now, we just aren't consistent enough. I think any of the bottom five could go down and the focus for Saints should be ensuring they are at least 10th, rather than chasing what would be a pretty meaningless 7th place. We are in a fight with five others but everyone is still punching at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised at any outcome!
Our last clash seen Dundee win 2-0 against 10-men in Perth but despite the player advantage for most of the game, St Johnstone had a few chances to draw level. What was your thoughts on that game?
Dundee started the game much better than Saints - a recurring theme - and we could arguably have been down to nine men. We did rally in the second half but can have no real complaints at the final result. Dundee seem to save their best performances for these games. Almost like it's a derby!
So looking ahead to Saturday, both clubs have played the same number of matches but a win would be massive for both. Dundee haven’t won at home in four matches, only finding the net once while St Johnstones form away from home has seen a run of five matches also without a win with one goal. Something has to give, what’s your predictions?
Saints owe the fans a performance at Dens Park following a run of poor results in Dundee but we have to start the game better than we have previously to have any chance. If we let Dundee get on the front foot and ahead, it could be a long afternoon. It's hard to have much confidence unfortunately, especially with the injury list, and I'd certainly take a point if offered.