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Togetherness breeds hope for Buddies

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Mark Jardine, Misery Hunters podcast, external

In keeping with its Friday the 13th setting, St Mirren’s 1-0 away loss to Hearts set about my footballing hopes and dreams as if they were camp counsellors in the film of the same name. 

Even with injuries and suspensions forcing Stephen Robinson to field a much-depleted starting XI, Saints were unlucky not to get more from a game in which – Barrie McKay’s brilliant goal aside – they more than matched their hosts. 

The first half was tactically intriguing, if a little lacking for the neutral, but it was the second half that brought the game’s real talking points.

In a fraught period, much of the focus was on refereeing decisions, including a possible red card for a Robert Snodgrass challenge (who was fortunate not to already be on a yellow for a first half act of simulation), and a seemingly strong late penalty appeal for a Kye Rowles handball – both were dismissed by VAR.

While Hearts boss Robbie Neilson ended the night the happier of the two managers, there were many positives for Stephen Robinson to take. 

Saints’ gutsy performance ultimately bore no fruit, but one thing it did outline is a sense of togetherness among the squad, the coaching staff, and indeed the fans. 

St Mirren’s aim this season is very much still a top six finish. Even with a tough run of games (starting at Parkhead tomorrow), it is an aim that this sense of togetherness will play a massive part in deciding.

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