St Mirren can take inspiration from Liverpool and Tottenham – Oran Kearney

Oran Kearney has urged his St Mirren players to take inspiration from this week’s Champions League comebacks as the Buddies look to complete the great escape.

St Mirren were five points adrift at the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership in late February but secured their safety from automatic relegation with two matches left.

Their next challenge is to avoid a relegation play-off by overhauling Hamilton, who are four points clear ahead of their trip to Paisley on Monday in the penultimate match of the league season.

Saints need to win to take their fight to the final day and Kearney utilised the example of Liverpool and Tottenham’s comebacks from three goals down in their European semi-finals against Barcelona and Ajax respectively.

Kearney said: “It’s probably a brilliant message at this point in time, a real indication of what can be achieved with a little bit of belief and and a little bit of spirit.

“We have to take encouragement from those couple of performances in the last couple of nights that anything is possible.”

Kearney’s side have shown similar refusal to give up in recent weeks, coming from behind to take points in five of their last six matches, netting last-gasp equalisers in their most recent two.

“The last five or six games in particular have been really encouraging,” said Kearney, who is hopeful that Ryan Flynn will shake off a knock.

“We have built up momentum at the right time. Our performances have been good and the consistency has been good in the last five or six games in particular.

“For us it’s about making sure we can deliver that same type of performance again in a more pressurised situation.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a huge amount of pressure. For us, I think the pressure’s off. In September, if you had offered me this scenario, that number one we’d be guaranteed a play-off (at worst) by this stage then I’d have bitten your arm off for it.

“We are probably in bonus territory at the minute, and whilst that opportunity is still there to stay up outright, of course we’re going to chase it as hard as we can.

“We were written off by many throughout the season and to secure the play-off is a heck of an achievement from where we’ve been. But mathematically there is a huge incentive to stay up outright.”