St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright admits his side are fortunate not to be cast adrift after their slow start to the season.
But the Northern Irishman has urged his players to use that let-off as a positive and start climbing up the table.
Wright vowed to sign an experienced defender in January after conceding three goals from crosses in a 4-0 defeat at Motherwell on Saturday.
But he has told his players to keep looking on the bright side after their latest setback in a tough opening spell.
Bottom club Saints did not win any of their opening nine Ladbrokes Premiership games and have conceded four goals against both Hibernian and Motherwell since recording back-to-back victories.
But they are joined on 11 points by both St Mirren and Hearts in a tight bottom half of the table.
“We’ve got to remain positive,” Wright told Saints TV ahead of Wednesday’s trip to face Kilmarnock. “I have said enough over the weekend about our feelings in terms of how we conceded the goals again.
“But we are fortunate, and the players have to realise it, that we are still only three points off seventh place.
“Normally on the run we are in you would find yourselves at least seven or eight points off seventh and certainly four or five points off 11th place, and that’s not the case.
“That’s the only positive in this bad run but we have got to make sure that we make the most of that opportunity between now and January.”
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