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KEARNEY SETS PAISLEY PATTERN

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NEW St Mirren boss Oran Kearney was delighted with last night’s goalless draw against champions Celtic in Paisley.

And the Irishman, who has just taken over from the axed Alan Stubbs – removed after only four Premiership games – has told his players he now expects that standard in EVERY game.

Kearney said: “I thought our attitude, energy levels and endeavour were superb. Those are qualities that don’t cost you anything in football.”

And the new gaffer reserved special praise for Anton Ferdinand, the centre-back who was rushed into his Saints debut and lasted 73 minutes before he was taken off.

The former West Ham star played for Southend in League One last season and had been a free agent before he was snapped up by the Premiership new boys on a season-long contract.

CRUNCH…Saints new boy Anton Ferdinand tackles Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard. Pic: Geo.

Kearney added: “I was a little bit surprised with how long we got out of Anton. He only had a bit-part pre-season, but he has trained really well with us throughout the week.

“He hasn’t played a huge amount of football, but we were adamant that we had to get him into the team for this game.

“He showed flashes of what he’s all about. You could see his anticipation and how well he reads the game.

“He is a real organiser and he helped all the other players around him. He was a real calming influence for us – worth his weight in gold.

“The players have shown their hand now. This is the standard they have set for themselves.

“It can sometimes take three or four weeks for a new group to really show their level and show what they can do.

“But they have gone and earned a point against the champions. That is the expectation now and the key thing is that we have to maintain this standard in the forthcoming weeks.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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