St Johnstone manager Craig Levein felt his Perth players were “spooked” when they allowed Motherwell to peg them back in his first game in charge.
And after failing to hold on to a lead against the Fir Park side for a second time during his short reign, the McDiarmid Park boss believes that unwanted trait is “still hanging around”.
Saints looked to be heading for back to back league wins but were denied their first away league victory of the season by a Mika Biereth equaliser two minutes into injury-time at Fir Park.
And, according to Levein, allowing themselves to drop too far back played a part in three points being downgraded once more.
“Motherwell do quite well late on in matches and we had spoken about that,” he said.
“But I felt we defended well the whole game and for once I was sitting there relatively confident we could see it out.
“How little I know!
“I don’t know yet if it feels like a solid point.
“I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and figure that out.
“There were a lot of good things about us.
“We played well in the second half but when Motherwell brought Bair and Wilkinson on – two big boys – the balls come into the box.
“We’ve still got that spooked thing hanging around.
“We’re far from prolific when it comes to scoring goals and because of that we feel we need to protect what we’ve got.
“Our players are thinking they need to defend the box. But they don’t. You can defend 25 yards outside the box but we started to get deeper.
“I’ve done it myself. Defenders think if you’re nearer your goal you can protect your goal.
“In fact, there’s more chaos in front of goal when you get deeper and deeper.
“I’d love to have all three points and for a long time we had them but we didn’t manage to hold out.
“I’m not going to be critical of the players. We just take it on the chin and move on.”
The January transfer window will open in a few weeks and Levein is hoping to bolster his squad.
“We’ve got plans to do some stuff in the window,” he said. “Two or three.
“That would help, I think.
“A lot of these things depend on people going out, balancing the books and that sort of stuff.”