30 Points, A goal! and Injuries

A 1-1 draw with Aberdeen today, saw St Mirren break their duck and score after three consecutive 0-0 draws. Nigel Hasselbaink’s strike making the first goal scored in four games.

According to BBC Sportsound host, Richard Gordon, St Mirren went 487 minutes without scoring, the longest such run in the Scottish Premier League this season.

A slow gathering of points has taken Saints finally onto the 30 point threshold, still sitting ninth in the SPL table, having last won on Christmas Eve.

Looking down, Inverness play ‘crisis club’ Rangers tomorrow and are currently three points behind, with an eight point gap to Hibs who carved a 3 goal win over Kilmarnock and an 11 point gap to Dunfermline at the bottom of the table. Saints are away to Hibs next Saturday

Upward, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen are two points ahead in 8th and 7th spots, Hearts are now six points away at the bottom of the top six.

I’m going to say what I’ve been thinking for a wee while – Saints wont make the top six this season.

I reckon it’s gone now, not enough results over that winter part of the season. Opportunities were there to pick up more points, but squandered, lessons learned for sure.

Sadly, Marc McAusland today sustained an injury around his eye socket and apparently will be out for six weeks, joining Jeroen Tesselar on the injury list.

So, injuries in the defence, a long winless run and still issues in scoring goals. Billy Dodds on Sportsound probably called it right when he said that Saints were trying too hard to score the perfect goal and played too much in front of the opposition defence.

Hibs are next up and you look at that as being a game that Saints really don’t want to lose. A win or draw maintains league position and stops the chances of a wobble.

Saints have been standing still since that win over Rangers, The cup wins over Hamilton and Ross County are just about keeping Saints in the positive.

30 points is a real marker for the season. Saints had 33 points as a total last season, Hamilton were relegated on 26. Falkirk went down on 31 two seasons ago, Inverness went down on 37 three seasons ago.

We know from experience that Saints need to retain a gap to the teams at the bottom, we know the margins that teams have caught up on late season runs and unfortunately we know too well the risks of a long run of indifferent form.

A couple more wins before the split, some more points on the board and that’d do. wouldn’t it?

Again we’re back to looking for a spark, Steven Thompson returns from his ban against Hibs, could that be enough? A worry is the splitting of the centre half pairing and whether Darren McGregor is rushed back into action or whether young Jason Naismith can step up longer term.

Injuries happen, suspensions happen, but in retrospect, the fans calling for a striker and a centre half to be signed in the winter transfer window were probably correct.

Whoever plays, A new centre half pairing probably means that Saints are likely to concede a goal at Easter Road, I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen. Saints will need to score at least once and maybe more to get points from the fixture.

A hard week ahead for Saints. Hopefully Cheesy has no issues in his recovery, all the best to him.

So, we know the top six train is in the sidings, but no reason that Saints can’t put a few results together and get a highest number of points in the modern SPL, or highest position in the modern SPL. There’s always the hope of a cup run too.

*note

I’ll only assume no relegation possible from the SPL if Rangers are liquidated.

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