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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin believes his side can unsettle Celtic

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has told his players to forget the league table and what their relegation rivals are doing when they travel to Celtic Park.

Goodwin’s side were held to a goalless midweek draw by St Johnstone in what on paper was the least difficult encounter facing the Ladbrokes Premiership bottom three.

However, they saw Hamilton and Hearts gain ground on them following surprise results elsewhere as Accies won at Ibrox and Daniel Stendel’s side recorded an emphatic Edinburgh derby triumph at Easter Road.

Saints undoubtedly have the most demanding task this weekend. Hearts host Motherwell and Hamilton welcome Kilmarnock, while Goodwin’s men take on the runaway leaders.

But the Irishman wants his side to forget what is happening elsewhere.

“There’s never any nerves when you are going to Parkhead,” said Goodwin, whose side lost 2-0 in the east end of Glasgow earlier in the campaign.

“Celtic are expected to turn up and beat us comfortably and that’s what everyone expects.

“But we know we are capable of stifling that. And we did that last time we were at Parkhead in October. We went in at half-time 0-0 and didn’t start the second half well enough, and that’s when we lost the game, in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

“But there is no nerves. I tried to explain to the players not to get too caught up with the league, don’t worry about what Hamilton or Hearts or any team around us, Ross County, are doing.

“Just try and maintain the focus on the job that we are doing. Just make sure we are at our best every time we go out on the field.

“That will give ourselves the best chance of picking up the points required.”