St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin labels reason behind new-found confidence in his side ahead of St Johnstone test

If results go their way this evening, the Buddies could break into the Premiership top-six

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is confident his side can continue their recent revival and move another step closer to a top-six place when they host St Johnstone tonight.

The Buddies are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which included narrow wins over Aberdeen and Hibernian, as the prepare to entertain last season’s double cup winners at the SMISA Stadium.

Prior to the winter break, the Paisley outfit had failed to register a win in 11 games and Goodwin has put their upturn in fortunes down to a new-found confidence in his squad.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin during his side's victory over Hibernian at Easter Road. Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS GroupSt Mirren manager Jim Goodwin during his side's victory over Hibernian at Easter Road. Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin during his side's victory over Hibernian at Easter Road. Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Goodwin said: “We know we’re going to be in for a really difficult night, but the great thing about my players is they’ve got so much confidence and momentum right now.

“I remember when I was at Scunthorpe many years ago and we were one of the big underdogs in the league. We started to go on a winning run of games and just felt no matter who we were playing week-after-week that we were going to win.

“I get that feeling from my group of players at the moment, they don’t fear anybody.

“We’ve got a really good team spirit, a great desire to win games of football and just an honest group of hard-working individuals from my staff to my players. That’s what’s got us the results that we’ve had of late.

“They’ll be very respectful of St Johnstone and we certainly won’t underestimate them but there’s a great sense of belief within the squad that we can carry on and pick up more points.

After a rocky first half of the campaign, St Johnstone, who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot, has similarly turned a corner in recent weeks.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has been backed with several new signings in the January transfer window. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has been backed with several new signings in the January transfer window. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has been backed with several new signings in the January transfer window. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Callum Davidson’s side have picked up five points from their last three Premiership outings on the back of making eight new additions in the January transfer window.

Goodwin admitted: “I said about a month ago that I hated the January window because it only benefits the teams with money and obviously St Johnstone were splashing the cash from the funds they received from the Ali McCann/Jason Kerr deals in the summer.

“Callum was able to tear up the squad he had and add a helluva a lot of new faces to it and St Johnstone were definitely one of the busier teams in the January window.

“It does make life a little bit more difficult because you’ve got to do your research all over again, which is what we would do anyway. Some one the analysis reports a bit different because of new players being included.

“In terms of Callum’s approach to the game, albeit the personnel has changed a lot, I don’t think there style of play has changed much.

“They like to play 3-5-2 in possession and a 5-3-2 out of possession, they’re quite direct and get balls down the channels.

“They’ve got Stevie May and Callum Hendry chasing everything down and are well organised, which is what you’d expect from a team that won a cup double last year.”

Callum Hendry in action for St Johnstone (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Callum Hendry in action for St Johnstone (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Callum Hendry in action for St Johnstone (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The compact nature of the Premiership table at present has Goodwin excited for the remainder of the season as his players look to break into the top half.

He stated: “The results of late have been quite crazy and some of the teams around us have had some big, big wins against some big teams.

“I’ve no doubt the likes of Livingston and Ross County will have been gutted when they saw our result from Easter Road because people would’ve had Hibs down as favourites for that game.

“We’re on a good run. I mentioned after the game on Saturday I can see a real similarity between the three teams (St Mirren, Livingston and Ross County) in terms of the attitude and application to games.

“When I look at the three individual squads, there’s no big egos or no one player that we’re all relying on.

“(Regan) Charles-Cook at Ross County is one of the top scorers in the league but they’re more than just a one-man team and I think that’s something that all three teams have in abundance.”