Stephen Robinson takes encouragement from St Mirren’s two heavy defeats by Celtic as well as their unique victory over the Hoops ahead of Sunday’s clash with the leaders in Paisley.
The Buddies are the only domestic team to beat Ange Postecoglou’s side this season with a 2-0 home cinch Premiership win in September.
St Mirren subsequently lost 4-0 in the league and 5-1 in the Scottish Cup at Parkhead against a relentless Celtic side who are nine points clear of Rangers at the top of the table and are fresh from the Viaplay Cup final win over the Light Blues at Hampden Park last Sunday.
Boss Robinson said: “The scoreline in the last game reflects that it was a massacre of sorts but it wasn’t.
“For 76 minutes we were very competitive and were 1-0 down and then went down to 10 men.
“That’s not to say we would have won the game with 11 men but we certainly caused them problems.
“We pressed them really well and took the ball off them at times and we were right at the top of our game for that period of time, the same as with the game at home.
“The players played right at the top of their game and deserved their win and they have to do the exact same again.
“So we know what we need from our players to beat Celtic, to put in a performance against Celtic. We know their threats and know we have to be at the top of our game.
“We have proved we can do that. We are showing them clips and video footage and it is not a one-off.
“It has been three games where we have caused them problems, three games where it has been very tight and sometimes it has been incredible play and great finishing that has beat us because they are very clinical.
“So as much as it was a little bit of a humiliating scoreline in the end (in the last game), that’s when their subs came on and we went down to 10 men, we have done very well against them performance-wise.
“The last two results, we haven’t got the results that we maybe could have done. We did in the first game but you need everything to go your way.”
Keanu Baccus, Alex Greive, Scott Tanser and Joe Shaughnessy are recovering from various injuries and will be assessed but Declan Gallagher remains out with a hamstring injury and Jonah Ayunga is having an operation on his knee on Thursday.