DJ Jaiyesimi’s first game for St Johnstone turned out to be Steven MacLean’s last.
Nobody involved in the Perth side of the 4-0 defeat to St Mirren at the end of October will look back on that occasion with any fondness.
But the on-loan Chartlon Athletic forward is confident that it will be a totally different Saints team the Buddies face at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night.
“The St Mirren game a few weeks back was a bad one for us but we’re playing better now and have more confidence going into it,” said Jaiyesimi.
“We feel we’re a different team now compared to then.
“You’ve seen that from the performances we’re putting in.
“The way we’re playing is going to pay off and hopefully that will be on Wednesday.”
With Nicky Clark injured and Chris Kane, Stevie May and Luke Jephcott all on the bench for Sunday’s defeat to Celtic, Jaiyesimi was handed a lone striker role.
It was an encouraging performance in terms of the 25-year-old’s link-up play, and a very encouraging one in terms of scoring the goal that sent Saints into the half-time break 1-0 up.
"A HORRIBLE GOAL FOR CELTIC TO CONCEDE!" 😬
Jaiyesimi gives St Johnstone the lead! 🔵 pic.twitter.com/UybQhN3dHk
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) December 3, 2023
“I have played as a striker before,” said Jaiyesimi, whose previous start under MacLean was at left wing-back.
“I’ve been in loads of positions over my career and up front is one of them.
“But I am confident about playing anywhere really.
“If the gaffer asks me to play up there, I’m happy to do it and it’s obviously nice to get off the mark with a goal.”
Diallang added: “It gives me confidence.
“Scoring against a team with top players like Celtic can only be a good thing.
“It has been stop-start since I came here but hopefully I can get a run of games now.
“The more games I play the more I will get into the flow of things.”
Saints have narrowly lost back to back games against the teams first and third in the Premiership recently.
Next it’s fourth-placed St Mirren followed by eighth-placed Motherwell within the space of four days.
“I thought we were good for large parts of the Celtic game but obviously towards the end they pulled off a couple of good finishes,” said Jaiyesimi.
“There are plenty of positives to take from it, though, and we move on to Wednesday now.
“You can see things improving on the pitch.
“We’ve had two hard games against Hearts away and then Celtic.
“But in both games we showed how well we can compete and we have to do that again against St Mirren.”