ST MIRREN boss Oran Kearney said he is expecting a ‘frantic’ transfer window as he attempts to keep the Paisley side in the Scottish Premiership.

The Northern Irishman watched the Buddies slump to yet another defeat against high-flying Kilmarnock when Saints travelled to Rugby Park.

The 2-1 victory for Killie left Kearney biting his nails as he tried to contemplate what must be done in 2019 if Saints are to survive.

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And he said he expects a very busy transfer window as he looks to bolster his squad. 

Kearney said: “We’ve got a squad of 28 in inverted commas, but at this point in time we’ve offloaded a couple already. 

“There’s a few gone back down to England to look for clubs and we’re carrying about eight injuries.

“I don’t need unhappy players here. For the fight we’re going to enter into in the second part of the season we’re going to need players who are ready to go.

“I expect to do business the whole window so it’s going to be frantic.”

The result, along with another defeat for bottom-placed Dundee against St Johnstone, meant St Mirren stay put in 11th place going into the top flight winter break. 

They have just 12 points to show from a miserable first half of the season, and plenty of guts will have to be shown in the next few months if they are to avoid relegation.

And Kearney told the Killie defeat proved how much of a struggle he has found it to balance the squad in defence and attack. 

He added: “At stages this season we’ve gone 30 or 40 set pieces without conceding a goal and then in the first set piece [against Killie] they score a goal.

“To be honest, it’s more about the the lack of mentality from us in relation to the reaction to the goal. 

“It shook us badly for the first 25 or 30 minutes and in that time we conceded a second goal, which was a crazy goal to give away. It’s that which gave us an uphill battle.

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“We’ve had to go to three at the back to try and keep the back door shut, and I suppose at times it becomes five and it closes the back door. Ideally for me I’d rather play with a four, but we’re not able to dominate the ball the way I’d like us to to be able to play a four, and to be honest if we hadn’t gone with three I’d have been scared in relation to how it would’ve ended up.

“We’re just trying our hardest to manage the squad. It’s a case of needs must.”