Jason Kerr was in no mood to be making excuses in the immediate aftermath of St Johnstone’s 3-0 defeat at Rangers on Wednesday.
The Perth captain would have been well within his rights to point to a possible lack of match sharpness following an unfortunate fixture schedule.
Saints’ pre-season plans were interrupted when a friendly with St Mirren was canned before last week’s Premiership game against Aberdeen was postponed, both COVID-19 related.
But Kerr, now in his second campaign as skipper, doesn’t believe the lack of competitive matches in recent weeks has had an impact on the squad.
“We’re not going to make any excuses,” the central defender said. “I feel like we were as sharp as we were going to be.
“It could’ve worked either way with our Aberdeen game being off. Rangers had a game on Sunday and we maybe should have been fresher.
“I’m not going to make any excuses. It was a pretty evenly matched game at times, Rangers just took their chances.”
Saints actually started their Ibrox challenge reasonably well and Callum Hendry passed up a glorious fifth-minute chance before Rangers showed a
Kerr said: “We had a game-plan to stay narrow and not let Rangers pull us out of our positions. I felt we did that for large spells.
“The first goal we conceded is disappointing because we shouldn’t have given the foul away.
“It gives them a free hit from the edge of the box and we know they are good with free-kicks.
“Albeit the second goal was good play, but the timing of it kills us going into the second half. We were all disappointed.
“We knew it was the last kick of the half and that made it really frustrating. At 1-0 down you know you still have a really good chance of something.
“Coming to Ibrox, you can’t switch off at all and I felt we did that conceding in the second half from the set-play. Aribo shouldn’t get the header there.”
Despite the disappointment, Kerr could see positives and was pleased to watch young forwards John Robertson and Isaac ‘Tanto’ Olaofe pick up game time.
“Being 3-0 down gives us no way back into the game,” admitted Kerr. “But I felt we were good in large parts.
“And we did have chances where, on another day, we could have easily been ahead.
“Tanto will be disappointed with his header at the end but he is in the right positions to take those chances.
“Robbo [John Robertson] came on and held up the play well. We know how good he is and he will go from strength to strength.
“He came back really sharp and fit for pre-season, looking really good. He might be one like Callum Hendry, who came in last season and hit the ground running.
“Robbo can get goals for us as well and the more minutes he plays the better he will get. He is still young and you need to take that into consideration.
“But he is a really good player and talent, which is exciting for the club.”
Saints boss Callum Davidson will be going in search of his first three points of the season against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow.
Kerr said: “The gaffer has now said it’s a really important game going into Saturday against Kilmarnock.
“It will be a tough game on the astroturf, it always is. They have a good squad and certainly showed that against Celtic. All of the boys know how tough it will be but we’re really wanting to get those first three points on the board.”