St Johnstone’s Nigel Hasselbaink is baffled by his side’s failure to hit the back of the net more often.
The shot-shy Saints have only scored 12 times at home in the SPL all season in contrast, Dundee United, who are a place below them in the table, have netted on 22 occasions at Tannadice.
And, despite possessing some top strikers in the shape of Rowan Vine, Gregory Tade and Steven McLean, the Perth side’s leading scorer in the league is Murray Davidson with six goals.
Hasselbaink scored a cracker the last time Saints played at Motherwell and he admits he and the rest of the St Johnstone forwards really need to rediscover their shooting boots on a consistent basis if they are to secure another top-six finish and possible qualification for Europe.
He said: “I went to New York for a few days during the recent winter break with some mates. It was a great experience and I came back feeling really fresh.
“I have tried to show the gaffer I need to play in this team. I will try to make goals, score them and hopefully he’ll change his mind.”
Hasselbaink admitted that he would like to be given an extended run in the team in a central striking position but he acknowledges that is unlikely to happen after winger Peter Pawlett’s loan spell ended last week and he returned to parent club Aberdeen.
The Dutchman seems certain to remain out wide, which means he will be cast in the role of provider for his big mate Gregory Tade.
He said: “Gregory and I are good friends but we don’t have a goalscoring bet between us or anything. We just try to score as many goals as we can and see who comes out on top at the end of the season.
“To be fair, I am playing more as a winger while Gregory is up top. I still try to score goals for the team but that isn’t my main job now. I would like to play up top again but that is the gaffer’s decision.”
St Johnstone have arguably delivered their two worst performances of the season so far against Aberdeen, slumping to defeats at home in August and more recently at Pittodrie in December.
Hasselbaink insists the Perth players are determined to make amends tonight.
He said: “It will be a hard game as Aberdeen beat us at home and gave us a difficult time away as well. They and Motherwell are the two teams we seem to find tricky but everyone is fresh and I think it will be a good game.
“We are all ready for it. We are determined to make up for the previous disappointments.”
St Johnstone will be without Gary Miller, Jamie Adams, David Robertson and Steven Anderson while there are doubts over Murray Davidson and Kevin Moon.
New QPR loan signing Michael Doughty is included in the squad and could be set to make his debut.