St Mirren boss Oran Kearney questioned his player’s mentality after the Buddies 3-1 defeat at Livingston.
For the fourth time this season, the Saints suffered defeat from a winning position. It highlighted their inability to manage a game after taking a lead.
Kearney’s side had led through Alfie Jones’ first half strike at the Tony Macaroni arena. Three goals without response in the second half, however, saw St Mirren comfortably beaten. After Dundee’s draw against Rangers, St Mirren now find themselves bottom of the league.
Having won just twice this season, Kearney will wonder where it has went wrong for last season’s Championship winners. Speaking to STV after Saturday’s match, the Northern Irishman spoke about where the weaknesses lie for the Paisley outfit.
“The hardest thing in this league is to get yourself in front and we managed to do that – then we show an inability to cope,” said Kearney.
“People talk about a fear of failure, but it’s a fear to win that strikes me about how we went into our shells.
“I think we lost our bottle, simple as that. It’s a mind-set and, as much as football is a physical game, I think it’s the mentality that was severely lacking. I’m embarrassed.”
Summer departures lead to St Mirren’s downfall
Jack Ross did wonderful things in Paisley last season. St Mirren romped to the Championship, and looked to be a decent outfit heading into the new campaign. A list of departures, however, have shot the Buddies in the foot.
Ross leaving for Sunderland was a massive loss. He had galvanised the club, and brought about some of the happiest times at St Mirren Park in recent memory.
When Lewis Morgan finally left for Celtic, and Gavin Reilly headed south for Bristol Rovers, it became new boss Alan Stubbs’ job to bring in new attacking outlets. A disastrous transfer window and a terrible start to the season saw Stubbs replaced after just three months.
It’s not got much better under Kearney. St Mirren have only won one game under the former Coleraine boss, and have looked likely for the drop all season.
January will be a massive month for the Buddies. It’ll be Kearney’s chance to put his stamp on the squad. If he doesn’t get it right, however, it could be a long second half of the season for St Mirren supporters.
The writing was on the wall in the summer. St Mirren have lost too many key figures from the previous season to fully cope with the demands of the Premiership.