St MIRREN manager Oran Kearney is hoping other teams languishing near the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership will be feeling the heat after his team recorded their first away win of the season.

Simeon Jackson netted the only goal at Fir Park as Saints edged out Motherwell to close the gap on the Steelmen to six points.

The much-needed victory still leaves the Buddies second bottom of the league but has also made the relegation issue a four-way fight going into the new year, with Dundee and Hamilton Accies also in the mix.

Kearney said: “Our big psyche going into the game was that we had under-performed against the teams around us and we wanted to put that right. That was probably the most pleasing point.

“I’m sure their mentality this week revolved around trying to put big distance between us and them and ours was trying to put a hook in them and reel them back in.

“It’s important we keep as many teams in the mix as possible for as long as possible.

“When it comes to that stage of the season when things become edgy and nervous, it’s important we have company down there.”

Saints brought on attacking options Adam Hammill and Cammy Smith just before the hour mark and the latter burst through to fire in a shot which was followed up by Jackson to net from close range in the 68th minute.

Kearney admits he was pleased to see his subs making an impact.

He said: “A game like this between two teams where we are situated is probably more like a game of chess.

“All week I would have bitten your arm off for 0-0 at half-time. They are at home and that probably brings a bit of angst and they start to come out a bit more.

“The substitutions happened at a time when the game was naturally going to open up for us a little bit and it proved that way.

“It allowed us to get our goal and give us something to hold on to.”

Motherwell assistant manager Keith Lasley admitted his team “just never got going.”

He said: “It was the same team that beat St Johnstone and our problem is we have given really good performances followed up by a performance like that.

“We have got to find that consistency if we have any chance of pushing ourselves up that table.

“Any talk of looking above us is based on finding that consistency. Until we do that, we are still in a battle."