There is always a special feeling in the air when fans visit the ground for the first time after the close season break. On this occasion we had a lovely new pitch to admire and a new manager to welcome. He was pleased with his team.
The afternoon produced a very comfortable win. Kilmarnock never looked like they could take control of the game and the final score barely reflected our dominance.
There were so many good points which could be highlighted that there is a danger of falling into a state of over optimism. We have a very young team and although we can recognise the potential we need to accept the inconsistencies which are part of their development. The philosophy which Jim Gannon has brought to the team is already evident. Game by game the players are adapting to his systems and they are showing plenty of energy and enthusiasm as they learn.
Gannon's choice of Saunders over Hammell to counter some of the aerial threat posed by the big Killie strikers is an indicator of his belief that team selection will vary according to the opposition. Our back four of Reynolds, Craigan, Hutchison and Saunders was rarely under pressure and they all had the freedom to move forward when the opportunity presented. Hammell (and for that matter Sutton, Craigan, Lasley, McGarry et al) has to accept that automatic selection is a thing of the past and that the current thinking is very much 'horses for courses'.
Although only two games of the season have taken place we would do well to note that St Mirren, St Johnstone, Falkirk and Hamilton have only two points in total. The league is taking shape and we have a small comfort zone already established.