Winter break and transfer window gets Saints back on track

Behind the Mic
Behind the Mic

David Currie, BBC Sport Scotland

That’s two wins and two clean sheets on the spin now for St Mirren. It’s looking like the winter break and the transfer window have done the Paisley Saints the world of good.

Perhaps a wee bit unfortunate to get something out of the match against Rangers, they’ve racked up wins away to Hibs and at home to Dundee.

Both important victories against rivals in the scrap for a top six finish. The Buddies are now on thirty five points – just nine shy of last year’s 'regular season' total (before the split).

No wonder the February wins at Easter Road and the SMiSA were celebrated so vigorously by players and supporters alike.

With eight rounds of matches remaining grabbing a place in the top six and maybe even a European place looks (and I’m being cautious here) eminently do-able.

The next four league games are against teams currently in the bottom four – Livingston away, St Johnstone at home, Ross County away and Aberdeen at home.

Let’s not get carried away here though. Two of those clubs are only a few points outside the top six and the other two are fighting for Premiership survival.

Is nine points from those four fixtures realistic? Maybe. No doubt Stephen Robinson will eyeing twelve.

His team haven’t yet managed three consecutive wins in the league, so taking care of Livingston on 17 February would be a start.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before that there’s the fifth round of the Scottish Cup to deal with – and a tie against the holders Celtic with a quarter-final place up for grabs. What’s not to like?

Well, the last meeting of the teams provides a cautionary tale. A goal behind in the opening minute, two down in seven and reduced to 10 players before half time, it was a miserable start to 2024.

However, the Buddies’ recent form – and Celtic’s recent performances – will give Robinson and co plenty of confidence going into the tie.

Just as long as they don’t concede in the opening minute and can keep 11 players on the pitch...