Ahead of the international break next week, St Mirren skipper Stephen McGinn has targeted a massive three points away to Hearts this afternoon.

Defeat against Celtic last midweek, coupled with other results going against them, left Jim Goodwin’s men propping up the rest of the Premiership table. 

And with another international break hampering his side's chance at building some much-needed momentum in the league, McGinn has spoken of the importance of coming away from Tynecastle with all three points.

He said: “The bottom six is so tightly grouped, you only need to look at St Johnstone. After we beat them, the panic was expected to set in and they followed it up with back-to-back wins and you see where it takes them in the league. 

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"So we take inspiration from that and we take inspiration from this time last year as well. We were down that bottom end with teams pulling away from us and at times there didn’t look like there was going to be light at the end of the tunnel. Whereas we can see it, we know how close we are to being a really good team and putting they back-to-back results together.

“I hate the international breaks with a passion. It totally disrupts the first period of the season and it makes the Christmas schedule a bit manic. As a footballer, you want to get in the habit of playing Saturday to Saturday but it’s something we can’t control and we’re itching to get out at Tynecastle today.” 

McGinn scored the only goal of the game against Hearts on Boxing Day 2007 as St Mirren secured a win in the capital. 

And the 30-year-old midfielder has picked the trip to Gorgie out as his favourite away day of the season.

But despite the hosts’ poor start to the campaign, and the subsequent sacking of manager Craig Levein, McGinn has warned his side not underestimate the challenge they face. 

He continued: "It's a place that we're excited to go to. It's one of the best away days. It's a difficult game but one we're looking forward to. I missed the game last year so I sat in the away end supporting the boys. 

"The atmosphere was brilliant in the away end. As a player when the home fans are so close to you, everything about going there is great. Obviously that comes with getting a result as well.

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"Sometimes you see teams get a bounce when they've changed their manager. They make it really hard for you and they're building back up. I think Austin MacPhee wants the job as well so there's a lot of elements that will make it a really challenging day for us, but we want to go there and make it as hard for them as we can.”

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