Craig Levein has twice switched to a back four since St Johnstone returned to action after the winter break.
But the Perth boss hasn’t been persuaded to make it his go-to defensive formation.
The change was made at Airdrie after Saints started poorly in their Scottish Cup contest and then again when captain Liam Gordon had to go off injured against Motherwell last weekend.
Neither team performance has convinced Levein to persist with a four in the long-term.
And if it’s going to be seen again it’s likely to be as a consequence of an in-game tactical tweak rather than from the first whistle.
“We’ll pretty much stick with the wing-back system,” said Levein, who hasn’t prioritised an out-and-out winger in the January transfer window.
“Three at the back suits us.
“We’ve got Gowser (Ryan McGowan) and Andy (Considine) who are really good players.
“But I think we got away with it the other day (the Motherwell match) by going to a four.
“It just involves more running for the centre-backs and we kind of got away with it.
“I think Liam (likely to miss Saints’ next match Ross County) likes that comfort as well of having a couple of players alongside him.”