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  • St Johnstone: The View From the Opposition

    With this weekends match seeing us take on St Johnstone at Dens Park, it meant it was time for me to scour Twitter for a Saints fan to speak to.

     

    Luckily enough for us, popular fans Twitter page St Johnstone 1884 agreed to partake in a answering a few questions about how their season has went so far. Read what they had so say below!

    Everyone has a story what made them support their club. What’s yours?

    Nothing too remarkable, father and father's father etc. I was maybe quite late into it at seven or eight but my dad, like so many others, had given up on Saints a bit when they'd fallen into the bottom division. He was lured back by a midweek cup quarter-final replay against Morton and he took me along to the next home match, which was one of the final games at Muirton Park, so I consider myself fortunate to have seen Saints play a couple of games at the old ground before the move to McDiarmid.

    Despite losing in the Europa League Qualifiers at the first hurdle, St Johnstone have started this league campaign strongly at sit third in the table at the moment. Stupid question but, I take it your impressed with the first five games so far?

    Clearly no complaints about the results and the team have played very well at times but I'm not sure they've put a 90 minute performance together yet. I think it's important not to get too carried away though as it's taken some good defending at times to maintain the unbeaten run.

    You lost Danny Swanson to Hearts which must have been a blow but Tommy Wright managed to bring back Michael O’Halloran on loan. How do you rate the transfer activity that Wright has conducted this summer?

    I think the manager would have had three big targets this summer: a winger, a creative midfielder and a striker. He's said himself he got his number one choices in two of those positions - O'Halloran and Stefan Scougall - but we've not seen enough of Denny Johnstone yet to know if he can compliment Steven MacLean, or even replicate the form of Chris Kane, who was maybe strangely loaned to Queen of the South. 

    Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha commented that O’Halloran “does not have what you need to play for Rangers." He goes on loan to St Johnstone, bangs in five goals and bags Player of the Month. Do you think the club will be trying to extend his loan deal until the end of the season or even a permanent deal?

    I'd be astonished if they didn't want to keep him but what the fans and manager sometimes want isn't always what the chairman is prepared to sanction. As ever with Saints, it'll come down to money but in his current vein of form, if ever a player was worth pushing the boat out for...

    I’ll hold my hands up and admit I haven’t seen much of St Johnstone this season due to my boycott of Sportscene until we win a match but can you name one player that us Dundee fans should be weary of on Saturday?

    It's the obvious answer but it's that man O'Halloran. As well as the pace that everyone knows he possesses, he's been deadly in front of goal since his return. It can be hard for opposition managers to prepare for facing him as he's already played on the left, the right and up front this season.

    You have one choice of player that you can pick from our squad to play for the Saints. Who do you pick?

    Scott Allan is arguably a player that eleven of the managers in the league would like in their squad and even though Saints are well covered in that attacking midfield area with O'Halloran, Scougall and Wotherspoon, he's the sort of guy that fans pay to see, very similar to Danny Swanson, who was at McDiarmid last season. It's hard not to admire the commitment of a player like Cammy Kerr as well, whilst Paul McGowan is a midfielder I've always liked. I'm surprised he splits opinion as much as he maybe does amongst the Dundee support. Without naming your whole squad, the early reports on Glen Kamara seem positive as well.

    Are your surprised with the start Dundee have went on which has only seen us pick up one point from fifteen?

    It's been a tough start with Aberdeen, Rangers and Hibs and one point from those fixtures isn't a disaster but to take nothing from County or Accies was surprising. With such a large turnover of players - and so many of the new faces being unfamiliar - it was always going to be hard to predict how Dundee would do this season and I suppose it was always going to take time for a new team to gel.

    St Johnstone have always run a tight ship but have constantly produced the goods on the field with six consecutive top six finishes and a Scottish Cup win back in 2014. Considering the money that some clubs spend each year on wages etc, seeing your team achieve all of this must be considerably pleasing? 

    It does make it a bit more satisfying probably, as you know we're really having to work hard for everything we achieve. There is also a feeling that we kind of deserve our moment in the sun after suffering a relegation when so many clubs were spending crazy money at the turn of the century. It's good for the game that those days are in the past now and virtually every club seems to be on a sound financial footing.

    Is it also something that the fans now come to expect from the manager and team each season?

    I think we'll only know the answer to that when it doesn't happen and we see what the reaction is. The noises from the club every summer are still the same, to stay in the league, and I'd like to think the support in general realise we have no given right to finish in the top six. I would say though that whilst Tommy Wright remains in charge, you have to be hopeful that we can maintain current standards.

    I forgot to mention that you’ve played in Europe five times in the last six seasons. Like most Scottish clubs though, you have fallen at the qualifiers stage. Despite that, how does it feel to see regular matches against European opponents at McDiarmid Park?

    The European nights have been fantastic, albeit there have been some disappointing results. It's a whole topic in itself but it'll continue to be hard to Scottish clubs playing their first game at the end of June against teams who are maybe a dozen matches or more into their season. We keep thinking this will be the last time, then the team surprise us again though!

    Would you rate the clubs current Premiership run (including all cup competitions) as the best the club have seen in a long time or at all? 

    I think it has to be. There have been other periods of relative success in the club's history (early seventies and late nineties notably) but none as prolonged as this and none with the pinnacle of a major trophy. I feel very fortunate to be witnessing it given where the club were only 30 years ago.

    We haven’t won at all this season in the league and haven’t won at home since February. On the other hand, you lot are third in the league, two points off the top of the table. What’s your prediction for Saturdays match?

    Dundee have deservedly beaten Saints on our last three visits to Dens Park. Does that mean we are due a result, or does it mean that Dundee have our number? I try not to make predictions but would say, with our good start to the season, I think a point would be absolutely fine for Saints. I'm expecting a big performance from Dundee though with the team still searching for that first win and Saints will need to play well to take something.

     

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