St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin declared himself over his top-six frustration as he reflected on the injuries to forward players that undermined the Buddies’ chances.
Saints missed out on their first top-six finish since 1985 on goal difference when St Johnstone scored late on to beat Ross County and his team conceded a last-minute equaliser at Hamilton.
The Buddies have a quickfire chance to atone for that setback and give themselves another target to aim for when they begin their Scottish Cup campaign at Accies on Saturday, two weeks on from their disappointment in Lanarkshire.
“It definitely took a few days to get over it but when we had time to reflect and put it in perspective, everyone calmed down,” said Goodwin, whose side have drawn five of their past seven matches.
“Ultimately it was in our own hands, we didn’t win enough games, and goals have cost us, and that’s the real frustration. The fact we missed out by two goals is really disappointing.
“And we did try to do something about that in January. We made big investments at the top end of the pitch, bringing in Eamonn Brophy and Collin Quaner, but unfortunately the two boys have been injured pretty much from the moment they came in the door.
“Kristian Dennis was starting to score goals before he got injured. Eamonn Brophy is proven at this level and Collin has played at the highest level in the English Premier League and the Bundesliga. Injuries happen and we have been very unfortunate.
“Collin Quaner we thought was back to full fitness but unfortunately he broke down in the session on Tuesday. We will be doing well to see Collin before the end of the season.
“There’s always an element of risk in the January window but Collin is naturally fit and he looked in good shape when he came in.
“He was unfortunate against St Johnstone when he took a heavy knock on his knee and got a bit of medial ligament damage.
“But since then he has had this hamstring problem and that’s purely down to conditioning. He hadn’t had a proper pre-season and he was probably not able to meet the demands I have put on him. And it’s really disappointing for him because he’s a great guy.”
Despite the ongoing injury issues up front, Goodwin is setting high targets for the rest of the campaign following the top-six blow.
“We are over it now, I think, and we are looking forward to the cup,” he said.
“I said after the game to the players that people will probably shoot us down because we missed out on our main aim, but I would rather fail at trying to over-achieve as opposed to celebrate staying in the league and mediocrity.
“We set the bar high and didn’t quite do enough but we certainly made progress.
“Our new target now is to try and finish seventh and go on a good cup run.”
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