DANNY LENNON, the St Mirren manager, insists it is time for "big hearts" at St Mirren as his side try to get away from the SPFL Premiership relegation play-off spot.

His side's 3-0 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday was comprehensive but the collateral damage could have been worse.

With all their bottom-half rivals losing, the Paisley side remain in 11th spot but only three points behind eighth-placed Kilmarnock who have played a game more.

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Ahead of the visit of St Johnstone tonight, Lennon wants a big effort from his players in the remaining fixtures. "They are all big games," he said. "The margin for error is slim so you have to be at your best. Now is the time for big hearts and big performances. We can't afford to let opportunities pass us by, we have to give everything for the cause and we can't have any regrets when we come off the pitch."

The St Mirren manager, however, concedes that there is no great secret to escaping trouble.

"It is about winning," he said, wisely. "Scoring goals and keeping the back door shut. It is as simple as that. The key message is to get that extra one or two per cent in application.

"We took positives from the Celtic game, especially with our first-half performance where I thought we were unlucky to come in a goal down at the interval, although Celtic deserved to win."