Baird thanks Miller and Webster for top-class schooling

Draw against Morton 'felt like a defeat' for young St Mirren defender Jack Baird. Picture: SNS
Draw against Morton 'felt like a defeat' for young St Mirren defender Jack Baird. Picture: SNS
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St Mirren defender Jack Baird admits he is not short of mentors at the Buddies – he just wishes the team had more points.

The 19-year-old scored his first ever senior goal in Friday’s Renfrewshire derby against Morton but could not keep out Alex Samuel’s 90th minute equaliser as Ian Murray’s side had to settle for a draw

That point has kept Saints out of the relegation play-off place in the Championship ahead of tonight’s trip to Raith Rovers.

But though the team is struggling for form in the league, teenager Baird insists he is learning all the time from the likes of assistant manager Alex Miller and experienced defender Andy Webster.

He said: “Alex’s had great experience and it’s brilliant to work with him, it’s a bit of a change .

“It’s good to have another person in and he brings a lot of good stuff to training.

“He’s got loads of experience working with good defenders so he’s helped me and given me advice on things that I can improve in my game.

“Andy’s been a massive help too. Its loads of simple things… things you can’t learn from a coaching point of view… things you have to learn within the game. He’s been a great help but it’s not just him, there are loads of players in there like Keith Watson and Craig Reid – they’re a great help.

“Despite the results, I’m really happy to be playing. I’m enjoying every minute of it and it was my first senior goal so I’m delighted.”

The Paisley outfit will aim for their first win in five matches when they take on Rovers this evening and Baird is hopeful they will soon turn the corner.

He added: “After the effort we put in and being in front for 80-odd minutes, it was pretty gutting and it felt like a big defeat.

“We played well for most of the game and we defended really well, we can take that into the Raith game and get ready to go again.”

Raith manager Ray McKinnon, meanwhile, has revealed Saturday’s late collapse at Dumbarton left him feeling as if there had been a “death in the family”.

But the Raith Rovers manager is convinced his side can prove there is still plenty of life left in their promotion hopes by moving back into a play-off place with a win over the struggling Saints.

The Kirkcaldy outfit were cruising towards a 3-0 victory away to Dumbarton at the weekend but lost an incredible three goals in the last ten minutes to leave McKinnon “shellshocked” at taking only a point from a match they had in the bag.

For all his disappointment and confusion over the weekend, McKinnon is eager for the Stark’s Park outfit to “move on” in the the most positive fashion.

He said: “I’m still flabbergasted by the way Saturday’s game ended. I never saw that coming, one bit. But it did come and it happened and we just need to look at it and rectify it.

“The rollercoaster of emotions has happened and we move on and focus on the next game.

“We’re gutted we lost three goals. It was a freak ten minutes in the season and I’m pretty sure we won’t lose three goals in ten minutes in the rest of the season.

“After the game I was more shellshocked than angry. It hurt. It honestly felt like there was a death in the family. I had to get my head around that on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It actually felt like a defeat. But I’ve got my head around it now.”

Before being appointed at Raith Rovers, McKinnon was interviewed for the St Mirren post when it was vacant over the summer. After that process he is possibly in a better position than many to assess what has gone wrong for tonight’s opposition so far this season as the Buddies go into the match with only goal difference separating them from the relegation play-off berth.

McKinnon added: “They’re a decent squad and they should be doing better than where they are, there’s no doubt about that. We need to capitalise on that at home. We need to get at them from the start and put them under pressure.

“We need to focus to try and win and get ourselves back into fourth – they’ve got to focus and win to get out of the relegation battle.

“It’ll be a tough game but we don’t fear them because we’ve got a good squad.”