Home form improvement the aim

This weekend, Saints look to build upon a strong result against Celtic last Sunday when they host Ross County in the SPFL Premiership.

A solid defensive display at Celtic Park earned Saints a point and means that Tommy Wright’s side have managed to come away from their two visits to Glasgow’s east end undefeated.

That result will undoubtedly have raised confidence within a Saints squad that has found it tough to gain momentum since the turn of the year. The visit of the league’s bottom club, on paper, gives Saints, who currently lie in 9th, a good chance of securing three vital points and start climbing back towards the top six.

However, with nine successive home matches having been played without a single win being secured, there is a monkey which requires moving from backs and the players go into the Staggies encounter determined to give the home support something to smile about.

Speaking after the Celtic fixture, Wright stressed the importance for Saints of kicking on from their impressive draw in the weeks to come:

“We have to have more of the same against County. I can’t be standing here singing the praises of the players one week and then next week be disappointed if we don’t turn up.” Said Wright.

“We’ve been here before this season. It’s been a season of inconsistency. We need to start building on that game and what better opportunity do we have than three home games to try and get some points and get us up the table?”

New loanees George Williams and Matty Willock have brought some much-needed depth to the Saints squad as well some extra quality and they will both feature in the squad to face Owen Coyle’s side.

However, Saints will be without Richard Foster who was injured at Celtic and looks set to miss the next 12 weeks and Stefan Scougall who underwnt a successful operation following his injury at Motherwell

The Staggies’ form has been up and down since former Saints forward and manager Coyle took charge in September last year. Despite a win and a draw in their last two outings, County have only managed four wins in total since Coyle came in but with new players added – the likes of David N’Gog, formerly of Liverpool – there is clear intent in the County ranks.

In each of the pair’s previous encounters this season , the spoils have been shared. A 0-0 draw at McDiarmid Park in October was followed by a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last December. These results will no doubt have both sides believing that they can come away with an all important victory this weekend at McDiarmid Park.

It’s a 3pm kick off at McDiarmid Park with Willie Collum the referee and don’t forget that ALL kids under 13 – both home and away support – go free.

Match preview by Gary Petersen