St Johnstone have come through a fixture list from hell and are now ready to turn an OK start to their season into a good one.
The Perth side took one point out of league games against Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen but will be hoping for more from their next three matches – starting with Motherwell away tomorrow.
“Before the run of results we’ve had, everyone was saying we were doing well,” said manager Tommy Wright.
“Now people are maybe pointing fingers saying we’re not doing so well.
“But we have three games now (St Mirren and Livingston follow the Motherwell match) where we’ve got to try and get a few wins.
“Then we can turn an average start into a really good start. But it’s so obvious again this year how more competitive the league is.
“All games are important. We can’t look too far ahead and have to deal with Motherwell and then we have St Mirren.
“We believe we can beat anybody but we’ve now got teams that are around about us and where we think we can pick up points.”
Wright has no doubts that his players will be determined to bounce back from their six-goal mauling by Celtic before the international break.
“We’ve trained really well,” he said. “I will say it, but it doesn’t really have to be said, that we’re looking for a reaction.
“I have no doubt we’ll get it. We have to show what we’ve done in training this week and at others times this season.
“It’s going to be a difficult game and we know that Motherwell are desperate for points as well.
“We know what we need to deal with when we go there. We need to compete with them and deal with balls into the box.
“We need to be good defensively at set-plays and make sure that we are competitive in terms of winning second balls.
“If you let a team like Motherwell dominate on second balls, they do ask a lot of hard questions of you.”
Danny Swanson is suspended and there are a few injury concerns for Wright.
He reported: “Blair Alston has a dead leg and Steven Anderson tweaked his knee, so he is a doubt.
“David Wotherspoon has a bit of a hip problem but he was able to train on Wednesday. I think Wotherspoon will make it, but Alston will struggle.
“Murray Davidson will have a chance. He has trained most of this week. Again I’ll assess him on Friday.
“We all know Murray’s qualities and he is someone who galvanises the team.
“Hopefully we’re happy enough with his fitness and he will be available to play.
“There are three or four little niggles but the squad is strong enough to deal with that.”