St Johnstone’s Matty Kennedy hopes to take heart from the last match against Rangers as they look to halt a five-match losing run.
Saints travel to Ibrox this afternoon aiming to stop the rot after losing to Celtic – three times – Hearts and Hamilton.
To follow a 5-0 hammering at Celtic Park with a trip back to Glasgow to take on the Light Blues could be the stuff of nightmares.
However, the Perth players recall how they came close to matching Steven Gerrard’s side when the teams met in Perth on December 23.
That day the difference between the sides that day was Light Blues’ striker Alfredo Morelos, who scored the second goal of his double just two minutes from time to secure a rather fortunate 2-1 win.
Of course, the Colombian will be suspended this time, along with goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
That has to be good news for Kennedy and his colleagues.
He said: “It’s going to be another tough one for us but we played well against them last time at home.
“We could have won it.
“We need to go to Ibrox and come up with the same level of performance as we did that day and hope we come out on the winning side this time round.
“Obviously, it has been difficult recently for us with having to play Celtic three times.
“That definitely affected us in the Hamilton game. We didn’t perform in that one.
“You could see we weren’t ourselves that night because losing to Celtic and especially not having much of the ball does demoralise you a bit but we have to get over these results against Celtic.
“It’s a good changing room here, spirits are high again and we can bounce back.”
Kennedy admitted that it is a bonus that Rangers will be without two star names.
He added: “McGregor and Morelos have been their two best players this season.
“Morelos for me is the best striker in the league. His record says that.
“He is a very good player and McGregor has been important for Rangers, pulling off some superb saves this season.
“So it has to be a big plus for us that they are both going to be missing.
“Morelos is their star man. He was the difference when we lost in Perth.
“His finishes were great. The second one to win it late on was just unbelievable.
“But they have good players who can come in. I’m sure Jermain Defoe or Kyle Lafferty will make it and play against us.”
Saints are set to be without former Ibrox man Michael O’Halloran and there is a slight doubt over Tony Watt.
Manager Tommy Wright said: “Michael has a tight hamstring so I doubt he will make it.
“Tony Watt has a bit of a problem with his ankle but I think he should be OK.
“Brian Easton came through 45 minutes of the reserve game but it’s much too early for him to be involved.
“Young Ali McCann has gone to Stranraer on loan and will come out of the squad obviously.”
Like Kennedy, Wright wants to put the horrible hat-trick suffered against Celtic to one side.
He added: “Training has been good and we have to try and be strong.
“I know it doesn’t look good that we have had five losses on the bounce but you need to look at it in perspective.
“We came up against a Celtic team that was playing extremely well.
“The most disappointing defeat would have been the Hamilton one because we the performance should have been better.
“We have been in this situation before and the main thing to do is not to panic.
“The next game is the most important one and we need to find a way to try to beat a very good Rangers side.
“They have improved immensely under Steven Gerrard and have put themselves in a real position from which to challenge Celtic for the title.
“They also have a really good record at home.
“But we have to take the positives form the last time we played them when we did extremely well against them.
“We were undone by a striker (Morelos) who has scored the most goals in the Premiership this season.
“He has been in top form and, although we don’t have to deal with him, we might face Defoe or Lafferty, which shows you the quality Rangers have.”