MATCH PREVIEW | Saints vs Dundee

Saturday 30th December

Saints finish off 2017 with the Tayside derby against Dundee this afternoon.

The last fixture of the calendar year is Saints last opportunity to solidify a place in the Premiership’s top six. They currently occupy the last of those spots on 26 points, one clear of Kilmarnock in 7th. Dundee, meanwhile, have had mixed success under manager Neil McCann and find themselves in 10th, two points better off than Ross County and Partick Thistle.

While all of the clubs in the league jockey for position and ending the year on a high is important, Tommy has stressed that it’s where Saints lie towards the end of the campaign that ultimately defines the season as a whole:

“The important thing regarding the top six is to be in it after 33 games.” said Wright.

“What can help us is getting three points tomorrow and finishing another calendar year off well.

“It’s been another great year for the club. The supporters should be really proud of what the players have achieved in the last calendar year. To get Europe again, to be competitive again this year and still looking for top six the players deserve a lot of credit for that.

“We ultimately want to finish the year on a high. We won’t play for a few weeks and we’ve got to make sure that we continue the run that we’re on. It’s nice to see us starting to put a few results together and hopefully we can continue that tomorrow.”

Many games in quick succession means that Tommy may have to reshuffle his squad slightly for the match:

“We have a few problems in terms of midfield.” Wright said.

“Liam Craig is suspended, Paul Paton injured and Murray Davidson won’t make it.

“We have enough bodies and enough people who can play in there so we’ll change that around a little bit but everyone is fit and raring to go.”

When the sides last met in derby action, Dundee came out on top in a game filled with controversy. A disallowed Steven Anderson goal combined with a contentious penalty decision compounded Saints’ misery in a 3-2 defeat. However, Tommy admits that a lack of competitiveness throughout the game from his players didn’t help and will need to be improved upon this upcoming Saturday:

“Overall that day we didn’t play well enough for long enough but I think recently our form has been back to what it should be in terms of playing well for longer in the game.

“That’s what we have to do tomorrow. We’ve got to put in a 90 minute performance against a side that can be a real threat.”

MATCH PREVIEW BY GARY PETERSEN