Richard Tait admits St Mirren need to be more ruthless in front of goal if they are to get the league finish he feels they deserve.
The Buddies are currently seventh in the cinch Premiership and have failed to win in their last six matches as they prepare to host Ross County on Wednesday.
There is a belief in the Paisley camp that they can break into the top six this term.
However, defender Tait knows they could just as easily slip back into a relegation fight if they keep ending up with little to show for performances like last weekend’s spirited display away to third-place Hearts, which ultimately resulted in a 2-0 defeat.
He said: “There wasn’t really a lot in the game apart from the fact they took their chances. To see where they’re sitting in the league, that shows that – outwith Rangers and Celtic – the gap’s not as big between us and third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
“Not a lot needs to change apart from us taking our opportunities when they come along. If we’d have taken our chances against Hearts and scored first, I think we’d have won the game. That’s the difference. It’s really small margins. I think we’re playing well enough to win games but we just maybe need that bit of rub of the green.
“It’s got to a point now where we’re going to have to start winning games though or we’re going to be looking over our shoulder rather than looking up the way.”
Tait is adamant morale remains high in the St Mirren camp despite their lack of victories since they won away to County in mid-October.
He said: “There’s no doom and gloom around the place. Obviously it’s been a tough run for us but looking back, we could easily have won three or four of those matches.
“The reality is we haven’t so we’re going into this game really needing the win but the confidence is still there. We believe we can turn these good performances into the results we deserve.”
Saints are missing two key defenders for the County match, with Joe Shaughnessy suspended and Conor McCarthy injured.
Tait said: “They’ve been ever-present in the team for most of the season so it will be difficult but we’ve got players in the squad who can go in and do as good a job as the boys who are out.
“I expect a tight encounter with County. They’re fighting and scrapping for points just as much as we are. I think people sometimes forget when they expect us to beat X, Y or Z, that every team in this league is fighting their hardest for points.
“It will a tough match but if we take our opportunities when they come along, I’ve got full confidence we can win the game.”
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