St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has called for his players to be stronger in adversity and more ruthless in the ascendancy.
A 3-0 defeat by Motherwell on Saturday ensured Saints will miss out on the Ladbrokes Premiership top six for the second season running. The Perth side have only picked up seven points in 2019 and scored five league goals.
Wright knows they have been over-reliant on keeping clean sheets this season, with main strikers Tony Watt and Chris Kane scoring only five league goals between them.
He told Saints TV: “There has to be a realisation that they have to stand up and be stronger in situations where things aren’t going well for you.
“And on the other side, when we are on top we have got to be ruthless. We haven’t been ruthless enough, we haven’t scored enough goals.
“Going back to Saturday, we had something like 58 per cent possession and we are not creating enough out of that. That’s basically down to individuals not playing to the best of their ability.”
Saints host Tayside rivals Dundee tonight and Wright expects a reaction from his players.
“We’ve got to be better, we know that, all of us have got to be better, and we have got to make sure we finish the season strongly,” he said.
“Dundee is the perfect game - they are fighting for their lives, they will bring a crowd, there should be a good atmosphere, and it’s a derby game as well. Motivation should be easy for the players.”
Dundee defender James Horsfield claims their biggest motivation to get off the bottom of the table tonight is to repay their fans.
A 1,600-strong travelling support witnessed Dundee slump to the foot of the table after a 2-1 defeat by relegation rivals St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday.
Horsfield, pictured, wants to give those who make the trip to Perth tonight a lot more to shout about following five consecutive defeats.
When asked about the mood in the dressing room, the on-loan Scunthorpe player said: “Obviously it’s not going to be the happiest place on Earth, but we have to make sure we remain as positive as possible, see the light at the end of the tunnel and put things right on Wednesday night. The biggest thing for us as players is we want to please the fans.
“They travelled down to watch us on Saturday, they travelled two hours and they bought the tickets, and there’s nothing worse for us than not giving them anything to cheer about.
“We have to make sure we keep this club up.
“It would be massive for us to get off the bottom because then we can build momentum and go into games knowing we can get more points and we just need to make sure we do that on Wednesday.”