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St Johnstone can make giant leap to Premiership safety by beating St Mirren, says Melker Hallberg

St Johnstone star Melker Hallberg
St Johnstone star Melker Hallberg

The 1-1 draw against Dundee was another small stride to Premiership safety for St Johnstone.

But next weekend’s clash with St Mirren can be their giant leap.

The Perth side’s point at Dens Park strengthened their chances of keeping Dundee below them for the remainder of the season.

Callum Davidson’s men are still thinking bigger, though.

They want to overtake either the Buddies or Aberdeen to get out of the play-offs as well.

And Melker Hallberg knows that the clash of the Saints at McDiarmid Park presents the perfect opportunity to make that a realistic hope.

“Of course there’s still a chance for us,” said the Swedish midfielder.

“We’ve got them both to play.

“I think we can go and win all the games that we’ve got left.

“There’s no point playing if we don’t have that mindset.

“We’ll make sure we keep working hard to do that.”

Faster start needed

Top of the to-do list for Saints on Saturday will be making sure they aren’t chasing the game again after half-time, as happened against their Tayside rivals.

“We don’t want to have another first half like that when we play St Mirren,” said Hallberg.

“I don’t really know why that happened, whether it was a little bit of nerves maybe.

“We’ll talk through it this week and make sure we start off better in our next game.

“We’ve got big characters in our dressing room – leaders like Gordy (Liam Gordon) and Muzz (Murray Davidson). And Callum Hendry has been stepping up.

“We know what we’ve got to do and we’re all in this together.”

Hallberg believes Davidson got his half-time instructions spot on at Dens.

“The manager was right to tell us to relax,” he said.

“There were loads of spaces for us to play in, keep the ball and play through them.

“That’s what we did when we came back out.

“There was no panic. We started doing what we’re good at.”

The former Hibs man added: “We had chances to win the game but they had chances as well.

“We came out for the start pretty bad then after they scored we took over the game.

“It was tough – they were good and we played some good football at times as well.

“It’s hard to know if we’re disappointed with just a point but we take every one we get.

“At half-time we were a goal down and it shows the character in the team that we turned things around.”

ERIC NICOLSON: There were shades of grey in St Johnstone’s stick or twist dilemma at Dens but against St Mirren it will be black and white

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