St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson won’t accept an ‘everything is going against us’ mindset among his players.
It crept in during Saints’ last game at St Mirren when a baffling penalty decision gifted Jim Goodwin’s men an equaliser just before half-time.
But dealing with set-backs – however unjust they might be – in the right manner is one of the key points Davidson has been reinforcing ahead of the Perth side’s next Premiership match against Aberdeen.
“We obviously had a poor run of form, then coming into the break, I saw a massive difference in the boys and their performance levels at the start of games,” he said.
“We’ve managed to change the mentality.
“When a decision goes against you, a big one in the game, it’s about how we react as a group.
“I was disappointed with how we reacted to losing the penalty for 10 to 15 minutes. Ultimately, that cost us the game. That cannot happen.
“I showed the boys the video from conceding the first goal to conceding the second goal at St Mirren – what we did wrong and what you’ve got to do to settle yourself down.
“We should have enough experience in the team to deal with it.
“I expect a better response from them. Between now and the end of the season, it doesn’t matter what happens on the pitch, you’ve got to keep playing the same way.
“I definitely thought we stopped playing once we conceded the penalty and that really disappointed me.”
Decisions cost Saints 7 or 8 points
Davidson believes being on the wrong end of game-changing decisions has cost his team “seven or eight points” already but seeking discussions with Scottish football officials would be a futile exercise.
“For me, there is really no point,” he said. ”There are certain rules there. I don’t know how you can get them to change a decision.
“I do think we need help from VAR at times. There have been four or five decisions this year that have been blatant. We’ve all seen it.
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“When you see it on Sportscene or Sky, you can tell it is blatantly the wrong decision. It has probably cost us seven or eight points.
“For us, fighting away with what we have had to deal with, it’s pretty difficult.
“But I need to make sure it doesn’t change our mindset. We need to stick together and we need to not get frustrated and let it affect the performance.”
Caretaker Aberdeen boss Barry Robson will be in the opposite dug-out in the wake of Stephen Glass’s departure, adding an element of unpredictability to the occasion.
“I know Stephen really well and speak to him quite a lot,” said Davidson.
“I’m obviously disappointed for him but it’s part and parcel of being a manager unfortunately.
“One thing you know is that you’re going to get sacked at some point in your career.
“I’ve just got to focus on doing the best I can to make sure we win some games and I take St Johnstone up the league.
“It’s always difficult in these circumstances.
“We prepared for them two or three weeks ago and it got called off.
“Then we prepared for them again before Stephen lost his job on Sunday.
“There is a little bit of the unknown now.
“We might do something slightly different as well to give ourselves the best opportunity of winning.”