Players prepared for Hibs clash

Saints welcome Hibernian to McDiarmid Park on Sunday and Tommy Wright has challenged his players to improve following last weekend's opening day defeat to Kilmarnock.

The club went down 2-0 at Rugby Park and the manager admits he was disappointed with the performance but that the squad has been working hard this week ahead of Sunday's match.

The game was originally due to be played on Saturday but following Hibs' progression in Europe the fixture was rescheduled for the following afternoon at 3PM.

Looking ahead to the clash, the Saints boss said: "Saturday's performance was not what we expected in terms of how well we've done in recent games.

"We just couldn't get a foothold in the game and we didn't pass the ball nearly well enough.

"We discussed the performance at the beginning of the week and went over the areas that we need to improve and that's what we've been working on in training.

"We're looking for a positive result against what is a very strong Hibs side doing particularly well at the moment."

Tommy added: "Training has been lively but after a defeat that's what is expected. I'm not going to get overly concerned by one bad performance though as it's early stages."

Sunday's opponents' progression in the Europa League led to the game being moved back 24 hours but the manager doesn't believe that gives his side much of an advantage.

"I think that's something people like to say," Tommy commented, "but players just want to get as many games under their belts as possible.

"It's still early in the season so I don't think there's going to be any fatigue there. The one thing that might play on Neil's mind is that they'll have another big European game the following Thursday and they won't want to pick up injuries."

Sunday's match is a 3PM kick-off and the match referee is Willie Collum.

Last season saw the Hibees return to the Ladbrokes Premiership and although they finished in 4th place it was actually Tommy Wright's Saints side who came out on top head-to-head.

The first home match in September finished 1-1 at McDiarmid Park, and then the Easter Road fixture saw Steven MacLean net a dramatic stoppage time winner in a 2-1 victory against the Leith side.

Chris Kane's equaliser in March was enough to secure a 1-1 draw in the third fixture between the two sides last campaign.