ST MIRREN’S Isaac Osbourne says the Buddies must show bravery if they are to overcome their crisis of confidence.
The 28-year-old midfielder admits self-belief in the Paisley camp is at an all-time low following their nightmare start to the season. The team have gone two months without a win, sit bottom of the Scottish Premiership, and saw their William Hill Scottish Cup hopes crumble with a 4-0 drubbing at Inverness on Tuesday. Boss Tommy Craig has faced a furious reaction from the Paisley faithful, with many fans now claiming he is no longer the man to lead the club forward.
But Osbourne claimed fortune favours the bold as he urged his team to go at St Johnstone when they host the Perth team today. He said: “The way this season has gone has not been great, so confidence will be low. We just need to roll our sleeves up and get back to basics.
“The manager wants us to play but, over the last few games, we’ve not been going out there and expressing ourselves.
“The only way we are going to change this is to go out, get on the ball and try to dictate the game, rather than chasing it.”
And there is a precedent for Osbourne’s claims. St Mirren’s last win was at McDiarmid Park at the beginning of October as they beat St Johnstone 2-1.
But the former Aberdeen and Partick battler admits Saints will not get it easy this time.
“It is never the same game twice,” said Osbourne. “But it is definitely a positive thing for us we beat them at their place.
“We deserved to beat them as well that day but it will be a different game this weekend.”
Tuesday night’s disastrous fourth-round replay in the Highlands sparked a Twitter outcry as the Saints support railed against boss Craig. But Osbourne insists the 64-year-old can take the flak.
He said: “Obviously we all want to help out the manager. That’s the way football can be. If the team are playing poorly and not picking up results, then the manager is going to get stick, teams are going to get stick. The manager though is old enough to know that. But it would help the situation if we started delivering some performances.”
St Johnstone striker Brian Graham, meanwhile, will take a goal grievance with him to Paisley.
The Dundee United loanee was involved in two goals that were chalked off when the two sides met in the Premiership at McDiarmid Park in October.
Trailing 1-0 to a Jason Naismith strike the home side had the ball in the net through David Wotherspoon but Graham was adjudged by referee Don Robertson to have fouled Buddies’ keeper Marian Kello. And, after St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson levelled, Graham looked to have put the Perth side ahead with a well-worked goal only to be flagged offside.
His misery was compounded when Adam Drury scored a late winner for the visitors but the former Raith Rovers hitman player is hoping that the key decisions will go the way of the Perth side in Paisley.
The 27-year-old said: “We had two goals chalked off that day but the one where I put us 2-1 in front, I watched it back and it should have been a goal. Obviously it was very frustrating.
“We were all devastated because we lost to a sucker punch at the end. We were bitterly disappointed in the dressing room, we thought we should have had three points but that is football and you have to get on with it.
“Sometimes it is swings and roundabouts and, hopefully over the course of the season, we have a few go our way. We have not lost a game in the last four so we are on a good wee run ourselves now. And I haven’t scored at St Mirren’s new ground so no better time to change that than on Saturday.”