Strength in numbers

16 March 2023

The Jambos travel north to face Aberdeen on Saturday as third meets fifth in the cinch Premiership.

With the race of Europe hotting up, the manager knows a win at Pittodrie would be a big step towards back-to-back third-place finishes, and having more squad depth than in recent weeks would be a big boost for the weekend.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said: “Lawrence Shankland has trained the last couple of days. Hopefully he’ll get through tomorrow and be ready. Robert Snodgrass is the same as Lawrence, trained the last few days then barring an injury tomorrow he should be available. Alex Cochrane is the same.

“Peter Haring’s in full training at the moment. More realistically it’ll be after this international break when he’ll be available for selection, then we’ll take it from there.

“It’s important to have as many of your key players as you can. We’ve had a kind of difficult period (with injuries) all season. This wee period here we’ve been losing a number of our attacking options which makes it a bit more difficult but, ultimately, we’re in a good position just now. We’re looking to get a few of them back for the weekend and hopefully carry that forward.

“Again, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. If we finish third twice in a row then it’s the first time since the early 00’s that we’ve done that, and we’ve had a European campaign. We’re sitting in a very good position. Aberdeen and Hibs, and a number of other teams, have improved, as have we ourselves and now it’s a fight to get that third position.

“The most important thing is the game on Saturday. It’s not about focusing on when we’re going to secure it, if we’re going to secure it…win the game on Saturday and it puts us in a brilliant position.”