After their 1-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Saturday, the Buddies moved back to the top of the table – albeit with Dundee United’s game being abandoned. After the match, Saints manager Jack Ross revealed how his group of players believe they can win this season’s SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.
Speaking to the media post-match, the Buddies boss started by praising match referee Craig Charleston.
“Having watched it [the possible red card for Sean Murdoch] back, it wasn’t as clear cut as I felt it was at the time. I have said that to the referee [after the match] as I had questioned him at half-time on whether he got that correct or not. The second one [possible penalty for Dunfermline], I think it is the correct decision; at that time you just have to accept it and look at it as it changes the last half-an-hour of the match if they score it. It is probably more the circumstances around it that causes so much controversy, with the penalty being awarded and then overturned, which is unusual in itself.
I think he [Ryan Williamson] has said it wasn’t a penalty. That is me hearing that second hand, however, from players on the pitch – if they are telling you that directly then I would suspect that to be the case. What I would say is that it is unusual for that to also happen in a game: I like Ryan as a player, he is a young guy who hopefully has a big future ahead of him; I hope he gets his rewards.”
Ross felt his side were “really good” in the first-half.
“In the second-half, I thought Dunfermline were really good as they flow of the game changed: that is because they have good players; I emphasised that to our players after the match – this is such a tough league, with not a lot between most of the teams. We had a few opportunities in the first-half where we could have been more ahead and if we had done that, we would have made it much more difficult [for Dunfermline to get back in the match]; while it is still at 1-0, it is fine-lines but, I felt we were really resilient in the second-half and defended well, in the main. Ultimately, at this stage of the season, it is all about winning matches.”
The former Alloa manager is just happy to be back on top of the Championship pile heading in to next week’s clash with away to third placed Queen of the South.
“It is nice to be back [on top of the league] so quickly after being taken off of it – I know that is depending on how [Dundee] United’s game would have finished [after being abandoned at half-time]. There is a belief within the group that they can do this; that keeps coming from me, but, I think the players are steadily growing in their belief and trust that they can go and win this league. We have been there for a long time now, in terms of being at the top end and challenging: our results over this calendar year has probably been as good as anyone else’s, so, we are in a good position – but there are a lot of tough games ahead. If you included today, when you look at our next few fixtures you had Dunfermline, which I knew was going to be tough, then Queens, Dundee United and Morton – they are tough fixtures, but ones everyone can look forward to.”
You can listen to more post-match thoughts from Jack Ross on St Mirren TV:
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