Oran Kearney says his St Mirren side will take confidence from the goalless draw against Celtic in his first game in charge.

Following Alan Stubbs' dismissal, the Northern Irishman led the Paisley side to a 0-0 draw last week and gained plaudits for the performance. 

And as the Buddies get ready to visit Hamilton on Saturday, Kearney admits defeat to the Scottish Premiership champions would have been hard to take given his players’ efforts.

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He said: “When you look at the Griffiths chance at the end when he was offside, and he is offside, it is a tight call. If the linesman had got that one wrong I would have probably forgiven him – actually I couldn’t have – but I could have understood it because it was tight.

The Gazette:

Stephen McGinn was a number of Saints players who performed well (photo: John Millar) 

“The performance was the first thing we looked for, as well as giving the supporters a life. It would have been really disappointing at the end if they had got that late goal but even then I think the players would have still come in this week knowing that it was an improvement."

The starting lineup Friday’s showdown with fellow Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers saw nine of last year's Scottish Championship title winning squad begin at the Simple Digital Arena.

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And Kearney puts that down to experience.

He continued: “Coming in for a short period of time it is hard to know people and make big decisions on people.

"The association the crowd have with that team and how well they did last year in winning the Championship was a factor.

“But there is also a great deal of experience there. They know Scottish football and they have played a great deal of games. It wasn’t just that but a great deal of methodology behind what we did.”