Callum Davidson wants St Johnstone to get back to basics when they resume their cinch Premiership campaign at Hearts on Tuesday night.
Saints were in freefall before the winter break, losing eight in a row in all competitions to slump to the bottom of the table, two points behind Dundee.
Boss Davidson expects to have new signings Nadir Ciftci, Dan Cleary and Tony Gallacher available for the trip to Gorgie as the Perth club look to resurrect their league season.
He said: “For me it is about doing the basics really well. It is something I believe we haven’t done well enough this season.
“Doing the basics well in football gives you the platform to get a result.
“There have been too many times on the defensive side, not just the defenders, right throughout the team, that we have probably been a little bit slack in not doing the right things.
“And then when we go forward we must make sure we play a bit better and get up the pitch and create chances.
“So those little things for me are really important and something we have been working on for the last 10 days. We have to be positive. The mood in the dressing room is really good.
“We had a lot of injuries and Covid issues so the break probably came at the right time and everyone is refreshed and ready to go.
“For me, it is all about energy, performance levels and if I get that every week we will start picking up results.
“The league is still pretty tight at the bottom and we have to make sure we pick up points when we don’t play well and when we do play well we have to make sure we pick up the three points.
“So that is the mentality we are going into the second half of the season with.”
St Johnstone drew 1-1 with Hearts earlier in the season and Davidson is looking for the same spirit in Gorgie.
He said: “Hearts have been really good and I have been really impressed with how they have played.
“They have a certain style of play, similar to last season so it is going to be a really tough game.
“At home we worked really hard against them but that has to stay for 90 minutes, high energy levels throughout the game and hopefully we will get something out of it.”
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