St Johnstone - 24h on

Last updated : 27 December 2009 By Firparkcorner

The feckless collapse in the face of MacDonald's perfect hat trick prompted the usual reaction from many of the growing band of disenchanted supporters in the home stands. Jim Gannon had talked of the need to stiffen our defence and to that end Craigan and Lasley were introduced, Hammell was dropped and Reynolds was played out of position (again!) in the left back slot.

Fir Park

The passing philosophy was largely abandoned and we set about the long ball game with Sutton and Jutkiewicz as distant targets. We made some progress on either wing with Moutouakil managing to provide the telling cross for Jennings' goal. O'Brien provided the spark on the left and following his removal in the second half we were without any creative influence.

We are all too accustomed with defensive collapses and the unhappy trudge from the ground echoed with the usual moans and fears about the upcoming trip to Tynecastle. Few expected that the manager would join the clamour!

Jimbo didn't hold back with his post match comments. "The frailties and weaknesses have been there for a long time......We could play any formation with any group of players and we wouldn't keep a clean sheet ......There's not enough players with physical and mental strength who can keep clean sheets."

While the sense of a public verbal bashing of the team might be questioned there can be few who disagree that his vision of 'proper football' is worth pursuing. We've known for years that the inability of professional players to be proficient in passing the ball 10-15 yards is a major failing in Scottish football and Gannon deserves our support in his determination to reverse the trend.

Mid-season slumps are part of the game and there is no reason to hit the panic button. Pessimists have only to look back 12 months to feed their habit - we were joint bottom of the table!