Players return from winter break

The players returned to full training today following the Ladbrokes Premiership winter break.

The squad had been involved in light sessions during the league shutdown but were given time off over the New Year period and reported back to McDiarmid Park this morning to resume full training.

Next up for Saints it's Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Cup 4th Round on Saturday 19th January and speaking to the club's official website this afternoon the manager said he's looking for his players to pick up where they left off at the end of 2018.

"We finished the year very strongly," he said, "we had a fantastic unbeaten run and then the players showed great character to bounce back from the two defeats we had.

"I felt the performances in both defeats were good but it was great to bounce back with two away wins to round off the year. The Dundee match in particular was very pleasing because of the manner of the victory.

"That's where we've got to pick up from against Hamilton in the Scottish Cup. Then we've got 13 tough games to look forward to before the split and my players will get it everything to finish as high up the table as possible."

The Scottish Cup competition is one the manager always looks forward to - having led the club to lift the trophy back in 2014 - but he isn't expecting an easy match against a Hamilton side just four points off the bottom of the Premiership table.

"I was pleased we were drawn with another top flight club," Tommy said.

"That means that both sides have had a winter break. Had we been handed a difficult tie with a Championship club we would be coming up against a side that was match sharp and had played right through.

"We will train this week before taking part in a behind closed doors match on Saturday. Then we have the whole of next week to get ready for the cup tie.

"We have a good record against Hamilton but we'll not be taking that for granted and thinking it will be an easy game.

"I believe you have to earn the right to win any match and we'll be looking to pick up from where we left off at Dens in December."

The January Transfer Window opened at the turn of the year and there have been two departures from the club at the beginning of 2019.

Tristan Nydam returned to Ipswich Town following his loan spell while Greg Hurst left by mutual consent.

The manager's focus now is on trying to finalise extensions for some players to remain at the club beyind their current deals.

"We're working hard behind the scenes," he said, "and the indication from the players we've spoken to is that they want to stay. That's positive.

"The Chairman is working hard on that front and we're always looking at areas where we can potentially strengthen too.

"We want to push on after a good start and try to improve what we're already doing."