By Craig Turnbull
St Mirren boss Ian Murray is adamant his side can still grab fourth place and the final play-off spot.
By Murray’s own admission the Buddies have had a “tough start” to life in the Championship and find themselves in eighth place in the midst of relegation play-off battle rather than fighting for promotion.
Nevertheless, with a Renfrewshire derby against Morton coming up after the international break, Murray believes that can be the game which is the catalyst for their ascent up the table.
“These are the funny ones that can kick-start your season,” he told Peter and Roughie’s Football Show.
“We went down to Morton last time, we got a man sent off and defended really well.
“I think we’ll see a team a week on Friday that will be certainly ready for the game.
“The play-offs were the plan at the start of the season and that hasn’t changed.
“We’re not where we want to be at this stage of the season but we’re still confident we can get that fourth position.”
Murray has put their sluggish start down to youngsters’ inexperience but believes having played Rangers, Hibernian and Falkirk in recent weeks, the next batch of fixtures against sides around them in the table will give them the chance to put points on the board.
“It’s very difficult to get them game time and people will go on about young players needing 50 to 100 games to establish themselves,” he said.
“We’ll be lucky if we’ve got that between six or seven of them. It’s going to take time but there’s no doubt we need to pick up results and challenge for fourth.
“But we’re only 11 off fourth place and we’ve got the top three out of the way already so the next seven or eight games against the teams there or thereabouts around us will be huge for us.”
The Buddies have brought in Alex Miller as assistant boss and Murray believes the former Liverpool first-team coach could make a huge difference at the club.
“Alex’s pedigree and experience was top of the list by a long way and he was interested in coming in.
“The demand he will put on the players will be very, very high. He’s demanded off a Liverpool team that has won the Champions League, so if he can demand what he wants off them, he will certainly be able to do that with our guys.”