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Hasselbaink vows to work hard
Published : 07 Oct 2012 16:10:00
Nigel Hasselbaink says he will have to work hard to retain his starting place at St Johnstone, despite starring in the SPL win over St Mirren. The Dutchman produced a top-drawer performance to guide St Johnstone to a 2-1 victory over his former club on Saturday. Hasselbaink came back to haunt his previous employers after 22 minutes when he collected Murray Davidson's flick-on and slotted the ball under Craig Samson. Davidson added a second nine minutes before the break when Samson could only parry out Chris Millar's low cross, allowing the midfielder the easiest of finishes from six yards. St Mirren responded three minutes into the second half through Lewis Guy, but despite dominating the majority of the second half the hosts claimed all three points. St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas had only 13 fit senior players to choose from as they recorded their fourth successive win in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, but they will be boosted by the return to fitness of Craig Beattie who appeared as a late substitute and Rowan Vine following a two-match suspension. "I was just treating it like a normal game, it was good to score, the most important thing was the three points though," said Hasselbaink. "We have all been working very hard and it's great to have continued our good run of form. "We have a lot of quality here, the experience of Craig Beattie is good for the squad and Rowan Vine will be back from suspension too - the competition for places will be very good. "Everybody wants to play and can play in the SPL, there will be lots of games and everyone will get a chance." Hasselbaink combined well with Gregory Tade throughout their meeting with St Mirren. The Dutch striker believes the pair are benefiting from their close friendship, which has developed from living in the same block of apartments in Perthshire. "We stay together and talk a lot about football, we know each other well and understand each other's strengths," Hasselbaink added. "It's good for both of us and makes us stronger as a partnership." Danny Lennon was disappointed St Mirren could not mark the club's 135th anniversary with a positive result at McDiarmid Park. The Paisley side dominated proceedings after Guy's goal three minutes into the second half, but could not turn their possession into goals. "This is the 135th anniversary of a great football club," said Lennon after the defeat. "But there will be more great glory days to come and we will continue on our pathway of progression. "From the way we took the game to St Johnstone in the first 25 minutes, I thought we were exceptional. "We had nothing to show for that and thought it was only a matter of time before the equalising goal was going to come."