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StJ v StM 3/8/22

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Great that Nicky Clark got a goal and played well. We usually have signed strikers that go for weeks before they score so this will be a great boost for him. Thats two assists for Stevie May after the one last week. All looking good. McLellan looks like he could be handful up front. Was it a penalty?

Onwards to next week.

Three welcome points.

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If St Johnstone blew St Mirren away today, no one would be more delighted than me, everyone would get praise and the hope would be we could build on it.

The reality though is that several very good individual performances won us a game that was far tighter than the scoreline suggests. The back three gave very little away, Hallberg tried his best in a role that still doesn't suit him and the wing backs, whilst not swashbuckling, did try and get into the areas we want to see them in.

But I thought Stevie May typified everything, so much energy and running to give us that option we need, as we're never going to control possession with the way we play. He's the definite positive to take it out that game and hopefully him and Clark can work.

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I thought first half was fine, with St Mirren very poor - albeit I still feel we don't move it forward nearly quickly enough.

Early part of the second half we gave up trying to play football again and ceded pretty much the whole game to St Mirren - though they didn't really convert that into many clear chances at that stage. Our second goal came at a great time to really take the pressure - which was mounting - off of us. Thought Adam Montgomery was very composed to cut back at the bye line then pick out Wright making his run in.

Special mention to Remi Matthews and Connor McLennan for the move that wins the penalty. That's exactly what we're needing - someone who can run at pace and commit defenders and really create something out of nothing. Whether Mclennan will be a success won't be determined today or even over the next few weeks, but that was a very positive start for him in a cameo appearance.

What I hope are taken away as learning points is that we can't play that midfield pairing again and that Bair probably needs shipped out on loan, because in that 20 minutes he showed that he's clearly not going to cut it.

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We were defensively sound and we showed more purpose in attack. On the vast majority of weekends, however, that midfield two obviously wouldn't cut it. Really struggled to assert any degree of control on proceedings. I really hope Daniel Phillips comes good or we could be in a bit of bother.

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Can't have any complaints. Typical performance in Perth from us. 

We just didn't get going but the Perth Saints deserve credit for not letting us have an easy time of it.

Bit of a reality check today, the team still has a bit of work to do. First thing I'd be doing is getting big sexy Joe back in the team.

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St Johnstone were good today. Solid at the back, albeit we didn't really ask too many questions. I thought we had some nice wee passages of play but lacked any real guile. 3-0 probably flattered St Johnstone a little bit, but credit to them for taking their chances.

The ref was getting a fair bit of stick but I thought he actually had a decent game, any players throwing themselves to the floor at the slightest touch and he waved play on.

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I think we are going to need to find a way to play without a centre back stepping out, as it's just not going to happen with any of the options we have.

But it remains hard to see how it won't be a problem at times without a midfield metronome. Hallberg tried hard but it was patchy as it's not his game and I don't really see anyone else that can manage it.

I know that he's going to attempt difficult passes (and makes one for the second goal) but Carey losses possession too much in there, it's the same problem as when TW used to ask Wotherspoon to play in there.

Pass success % for CMs (St Johnstone vs St Mirren)

O'Hara 95% (40)
Erhahon 83% (32)
Hallberg 77% (32)
Baccus 73% (38)
Carey 64% (50)

He saw a lot of the ball but losing it as a number ten or out wide is far less dangerous than in the centre of the park. Maybe he can grow into the role, although that's not said with any great expectation.

Montgomery can also be guilty of playing himself into trouble but hopefully he and Wright will continue to understand the importance of them supporting the attack. Obviously delighted to see them combine for second goal.

Have to try and find grounds for cautious optimism when you can as no one wants to be down on their team all the time and really for the first time this season, in an attacking sense, we maybe have that.

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Baby steps Radford, one swallow doesn't make a summer. If we win our next three then it will at least show we can compete and punish teams around where we were last season. That is a big step forward from where we are. Time will tell if Callum can change the system to suit the opposition, then make in play decisions that actually impact the game and still win. If he learns or shows that he is learning (he hasn't so far imo) then the fans will rightfully get off his back.

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