“We proved we can compete with Celtic,” says St Mirren boss. “We go with belief”

Stephen Robinson is confident his St Mirren side can tomorrow night repeat their success against Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic to take the three points at Celtic Park to add to their home win over the Scottish Champions back in September.

The St Mirren boss reckons his side deserved much more out of their 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle on Friday night and reckons that the excellent performance from his side can be repeated at Parkhead with Robinson hoping that his side take some of the chances that they are creating in abundance.

“I really struggle to find a negative from the Hearts performance, bar not taking our chances,” Robinson said, as reported by Daily Record. “You have to give credit to Zander Clark as well for that incredible double save. We pressed so well and showed calmness on the ball throughout.

“Why should we not be positive going to Celtic on Wednesday night? We’ve beaten them before this season. We know it’s a tough ask, there’s no doubt about that. But what have we got to lose? We shouldn’t be competing against the likes of Celtic and Hearts but we are. I give nothing but credit to our staff and our players for that. We had 19 shots at Tynecastle. That tells you the level of our performance. If we had players that scored 20 goals a season then they wouldn’t be playing at St Mirren.

“We’ve got fantastic players, don’t get me wrong. The work-rate, the energy and the organisation is top class. Please don’t get away from our quality as well. We’ve got so much quality on the break. We had so many good moves on the break against Hearts, especially in the first half. Our final decision does sometimes let us down, but that’s something we will continue to work on and try to improve.”

Looking back to that 2-0 win over Celtic on 18 September, Robinson reckons it will give his team added belief going into the game at Celtic Park. “When you beat teams of that calibre it gives you belief in the system you are playing and the players alongside you,” The Saints boss stated.

“But it is a different game, it is a different game as well at Celtic Park with 60,000 people behind them. It is a big pitch and the energy of the crowd drives you on as well.

“We have to stand up to that and not get caught up in the emotion of the game and play our game which we’ve done very well at home. The biggest key is you have to keep the ball. When you have the ball you have to be brave because if you defend for 96 minutes, eventually someone will make a mistake and get punished,” Robinson added.

Asked if going to Celtic Park was the toughest fixture in the Scottish Premiership, he replied: “At the moment it is. They are a very good side, they play with energy and pace, that’s the biggest thing, they are non-stop and I said that at the first game.

“The speed of their turnover and play, their cleverness around the box is something we know about, it is not a surprise to us. We have worked on trying to stop that.

“It is another one-off game. We have to approach it differently than the home game and make sure we are hard to break down and hard to beat. We proved we can compete with Celtic, we proved we can compete with the best teams in the country. We go with respect of course for a very good side and a top manager – but we go with belief.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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