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St Johnstone players know that the Premiership survival job is only half done, says James Brown

St Johnstone's James Brown.
St Johnstone's James Brown.

The capacity of the St Johnstone players to stand up to intense pressure has been questioned in recent weeks.

And producing a performance of control and dynamism to beat Aberdeen and put the final nail in Dundee’s relegation coffin was the sort of response supporters have been demanding.

There is no “job done” mindset in the St Johnstone dressing though, according to defender James Brown.

Because they know that the heat is about to be turned up even higher in a two-leg play-off for Premiership survival.

“Our goal was to give ourselves a chance to stay in the league,” said the former Millwall man.

“The first part was securing our play-off spot.

“But none of the boys are under the illusion that this is done. We have two tough games to come, whoever we play.

“I watched the Inverness-Arbroath game earlier in the week and it’s all still to play for.

“Whoever we get it’s going to be a scrap – two fast-paced legs. We won’t be taking it lightly.”

After taking the lead against the Dons in the first half, Saints kept their opponents at bay and saw out the game comfortably.

It could have been a very nervous occasion – on the pitch and in the stands. But Callum Davidson’s team made it as stress-free as is possible when the stakes are so high.

“Dundee performed well on Tuesday night, got the win and put the pressure back on us,” said Brown.

“We knew what we had to do. We had to put the possibility of straight relegation to bed.

“We’re happy that we have got the first phase done and now we can really look forward to the next few games.

“As a whole, we haven’t been good enough this season. We know that.

“But we can’t dwell on it and I think we have performed better in the last couple of games.

“We’ll certainly look to perform well at the weekend to take forward some momentum.

“We will rest up and try to finish on a high on Sunday to head into the play-offs.

“Whether some boys get rested against Hibs, I don’t know. That is down to the gaffer.

“But we want to finish on a good result heading into the biggest games of our season.”

Playing through the pain barrier

With Tony Gallacher out for the season and Callum Booth also injured at the moment, James Brown has been asked to fill in at left wing-back for St Johnstone.

It’s an unfamiliar position and he’s also playing through the pain barrier.

“The gaffer probably thinks I’m milking it!” said Brown.

“I’ve had a sore ankle for a few weeks but I’ve been strapping it up and getting through it.

“That is all you can do, especially when your two left wing-backs are out injured at the moment.

“It still comes down to the same basics of football. You need to defend well first and foremost.

“I’m glad the gaffer has chosen me and he obviously trusts me to go and play there. I’ll play anywhere.”

St Johnstone performance was a ‘big step forward’ going into the play-offs, says Callum Davidson

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