I’ll be at St Mirren against Aberdeen today, but I’ll be keeping a keen ear out for the local teams in a period which could make or break their hopes.
Dundee United face a tough examination at draw specialists Inverness Caley Thistle.
United were going brilliantly under Robbie Neilson until the five goal mauling by league leaders Ayr and last week’s draw at Morton.
Currently five points adrift of the league top dogs, who also have a game in hand, United need to take something from the game.
They require leaders on the park who understand the requirements of playing at a big club.
Often players at a place like Tannadice don’t realise how cosseted they are and how good the facilities and set-up is until they have left and end up in less salubrious surroundings, with careers on a downward trajectory.
If the current wearers of the tangerine jerseys wish to maintain a decent status in the game then they have to find the resolve to match their undoubted abilities, and start to win at places like Inverness.
They have proven until the Ayr debacle that the talent is there, but their application and desire have to match that, otherwise the season’s hopes may come to rest at best, on a play-off place for promotion.
I said last week that Dundee had turned a corner under Jim McIntyre, and the draw against Rangers and a sparkling spanking of Hamilton before that showed that the new manager is stamping his imprimatur on the side.
The same lesson applies to Dundee as it does to their neighbours.
There is talent at Dens, and McIntyre is fusing it with organisation, hunger, and desire.
The 90 minutes against Accies provided not only four goals and a clean sheet but also proved what a good manager can do with simple instructions which the players can follow, allied to the maximum use of the resources at his disposal.
A visit to Kilmarnock today will be another stiff test of progress, and Steve Clarke’s side will be smarting from their thrashing at Celtic Park last week, which toppled them as Premiership leaders.
Even a point at Rugby Park though would be a huge result and a strong indicator that the Dark Blues are steering a course to league safety.
St Johnstone meantime remain Tayside’s top team.
I enjoy seeing Tommy Wright sending a message to his detractors, as Saints sit fifth in the table, looking to make it nine games unbeaten, to equal their best ever best top flight run.
With a new contract in his hip pocket, the Northern Irishman provides a sense of stability and security at McDiarmid Park, and Chairman Steve Brown is to be congratulated on retaining his services.
Saints don’t play like Barcelona, but neither do they have Messi in their team, or a five hundred million-plus Euro income.
They do however play for their shirts and their professional pride in a completely admirable way.
A point against visitors Motherwell would equal history and would be an excellent achievement for a great club and manager.