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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Martin McMillan

Stephen Robinson: St Mirren’s trip to Celtic is tough but not an impossible task

St Mirren’s best start to a top flight league campaign in almost a century helps Stephen Robinson’s belief going to Celtic Park on Wednesday.

After nine cinch Premiership fixtures the Buddies are in third place with 18 points, having won five, drawn three and lost one.

It is the club’s best points tally after nine games in 91 years, since the Paisley outfit won seven and lost two at the start of the 1932-33 season.

Celtic are unbeaten in the league so far and sit top of the table on 26 points, five ahead Old Firm rivals Rangers, but the Buddies boss has confidence in his squad.

Robinson, whose side is fresh from a 4-0 home win over St Johnstone at the weekend, said: “Make no mistake it is a tough, tough ask, going to Celtic Park. But it is not an impossible task.

“We have to be very disciplined but we have a lot of belief in the players and we believe we can cause them problems.

“As much as Celtic will dominate possession which they should do, it is what you do when you land on the ball.

“Can we play? Can we break on them? I believe we have people in the squad who can hurt them on the counter-attack but to do that you have to be brave enough to stay on the ball and pass.

“The players need to take the plaudits but at the same time I remind them it is a start. It is not finished, we have not achieved anything.

“We have had a fantastic start and they deserve a lot of credit for that and it is now a case of can we maintain that.

“We have a difficult fixture tomorrow night so obviously it is one that we have to overcome first of all but we go with confidence of doing something right.

“It is the best start in 90 plus years so we are doing something right. We don’t need to change a whole lot.

“I have learned from before when you change everything you do in fear, you end up getting nothing anyway.

“So we will go and do what we do and do it better than we have done it because we will need to, to get any kind of a result.”

Robinson expressed sympathy with Steven MacLean who departed as boss from St Johnstone on Sunday following their defeat in Paisley which kept the Perth club bottom of the table without a win this season.

The former Motherwell boss said: “Scotland is certainly catching up with England and the rest of the world now in terms of longevity.

“I feel for Steven. I sat with him in the stand at Dundee last week and he is a great guy and he has had a fantastic career.

“I am sure he will come back stronger for the experience. Time is not something anyone gets any more.”

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