Robinson vows to have ‘real go’ at Celtic as St Mirren eye European spot
Stephen Robinson has promised St Mirren will have a go against Celtic on Saturday despite several heavy defeats against the Hoops this season.
The Buddies beat the cinch Premiership champions 2-0 at home in September but have lost 4-0 and 5-1 – the latter in the Scottish Cup – in Glasgow and 5-1 in Paisley, with the Saints reduced to 10 men in the last two meetings.
St Mirren, who secured a top-six spot for the first time in the current league format, were devastated to drop two points last week when Lawrence Shankland scored a stoppage-time penalty to complete Hearts’ comeback in a 2-2 draw and leave the Saints in sixth place, three points behind Hibernian and four behind the Jambos.
However, Robinson will stress positivity to his players against Celtic as they continue to battle for a European place.
“It was a huge blow for us last weekend but we felt sorry for ourselves for 48 hours, we came back in on Monday morning and it was back to work,” said the St Mirren boss, who revealed Alex Greive and Ryan Flynn are likely to miss the last three fixtures with injuries.
“You can’t change that, these things happen in football.
“I thought we deserved to win the game, we had enough chances. We were very good against a very good Hearts side, let’s make no mistake, and we made them look very average.
“There is a lot of positives but what stays in your mind is the last 20 seconds.
“But now we have to do it the hard way. We need to get points in the next two games and try to take it down to the last game against Rangers, that we still have a chance.
“We will go with a real positive attitude. We went down to 10 men in two games against Celtic. It would be nice to finish with 11 and have a real go.
“It is another huge test but we go there to try and get a result.
“I am not going to sit back and get beat 1-0. If we go and have a right go at it and get beat 3-0 or 4-0 then so be it. We are going with positivity.”
Robinson, however, was dealt a double blow with the loss of striker Greive and midfielder Flynn.
The Northern Irishman said: “Alex Greive won’t be available – Curtis Main is our only fit senior striker – and neither will Ryan Flynn, both ankle ligament injuries.
“Both will be a struggle to play any more football this season.
“It is not major injuries but we are probably looking two to three weeks for both of them.
“It’s a blow because Tony (Watt) has already gone back to (parent club) Dundee United injured and Jonah (Ayunga) is injured so we are quite short up front. But we have two younger players, Lewis Jamieson and Kieran Offord, who will come into contention.”