Anton Ferdinand is using his great escapes as a West Ham and QPR player to rally his St Mirren team-mates into sticking together in their relegation battle.
Ferdinand played in a 1-0 victory over champions Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2007 to help keep the Hammers up, and five years later was involved in an equally memorable encounter as QPR stayed up despite a last-gasp defeat on the other side of Manchester.
St Mirren remain locked on nine points with Ladbrokes Premiership bottom club Dundee and face a crucial game at Motherwell on Saturday. The Lanarkshire side are two places and nine points clear of Ferdinand’s team and could give themselves healthy breathing space in the survival fight.
Ferdinand, though, has learned never to give up.
“I nearly got relegated with West Ham,” he said. “We had to go to Manchester United at Old Trafford and win to stay up and we did that. Same at QPR, we stayed up on the last day of the season in that famous Man City (game), when they won the league.
“So, yeah, I will draw on experiences from that and I’ve said to the guys ‘we’ve got to keep plugging away, we’ve got to stick together’.
“The main thing is our dressing room has to stay together and committed to the cause, which is staying in this league, and that’s what we’re going to do.
“As much as I have been involved in relegation battles, I have never been relegated, and I’d like to keep that on my CV, that’s for sure. I believe in the squad we have got and the manager we have got, and I think we are going to do that.”
The West Ham escape was the more remarkable, if controversial, one. The Hammers were 10 points adrift in March but won seven of their last nine games, inspired by Tevez, before being fined £5.5million and agreeing to pay Sheffield United three times that, over irregularities in the Argentinian’s transfer deal.
But Ferdinand feels the seeds for their revival were sown in a dressing-room meeting.
“We were in the bottom three round Christmas and a lot of people say the bottom two don’t come out of it, and we managed to do that,” the 33-year-old said.
“We galvanised ourselves, we had talks in our changing room, and anyone who wasn’t on the same page as our skipper and senior boys were on, they were no longer involved.
“I’m not saying we drastically need to do stuff like that, I’m not saying that at all, but that’s what happened at West Ham and it boded well for us and we ended up staying up.”