The Paisley side go into today's match away to Hibernian without a win from their opening five games, with only Hearts - handicapped by a 15-point deduction at the start of the season - below them in the table.
Pressure on manager Danny Lennon will increase the longer the winless run goes on but Harkins believes it is too early to be panicking, pointing to last weekend's first-half performance against Motherwell as a sign that things are improving. "It's fine," said the former Dundee player. "We've got a good group of boys, we're all experienced and just five games in it's nothing to panic about. We just need to keep believing in ourselves and the win will come. When does it start to become a worry? February. We're just looking to go out there to get three points and we'll do our best to get them.
"In the first half [last weekend] we played well. We just lost a bad goal and Motherwell are a good side and they closed the game out. If we keep doing the right things and make better decisions then we'll score goals and win games."
Lennon believes his new signings have had long enough to bed in and wants to see more from then. Harkins admits his performances to date have not gone as well as he would have liked. "You need to learn how to take boys, how to play with boys and where you fit into that," he said. "So you're getting up to speed in training and the more games the better it will be. I know myself I can do better and I hope there is better to come."
St Mirren will look to negate the attacking threat of Paul Heffernan this afternoon after Harkins' former team-mate at Kilmarnock was allowed to leave Rugby Park for Hibs last month. "I was surprised that Paul was free as I think he is a great goalscorer," admitted Harkins. "He guarantees you 10 to 15 goals [a season] if he's playing. So for them to give him away for free, especially when Killie are struggling as a team, was a strange one.
"There are financial reasons to a point but if he is going to get the goals to keep you in the league then you need to keep him rather than being relegated and losing out financially. It was a strange one but Killie do still have players like Kris Boyd, who will score goals, so I think that must have been in their thinking."
Harkins admitted that St Mirren could have done with a player of Heffernan's mould in their attack. "Thommo [Steven Thompson] will score goals and I've not seen too much of [Stephane] Bahoken to know how many goals he'll score for us. But if you've got a poacher, someone like that would maybe in the first five games got five or six goals for us with balls going across the box. But it's not just his goals, he can hold the ball up and link play as well. Paul is definitely one for us to watch."
One of Heffernan's new teammates, Michael Nelson, is frustrated with the way Hibs only spark into life when they go behind. His side have lost the opening goal in games at Kilmarnock and St Johnstone but recovered to steal the spoils in both outings. The Easter Road side have now put together a four-match unbeaten run which has eased the pressure on manager Pat Fenlon.
"If you haven't got the strength of character when you go 1-0 down, sometimes it becomes 2-0 and 3-0. You see teams crumble when they concede a goal," Nelson said. "But the last two away games we have played, if anything we have improved since we went a goal down which we're probably not happy about. We shouldn't need a goal to go in against us to get a reaction out of us. We should be able to do that from the start. It just shows the strength of character and the desire the boys have got to turn things around when they are not going so well."
Despite the turnaround in fortunes, Hibs fans have yet to see what every supporter desires most: a home win. "It's just one of those things, sometimes you win at home and sometimes you win away," Nelson said, shrugging. "Obviously you want to win at home because you want to give the majority of the fans something to cheer about. It's nice to win away as well for the people who get up early in the morning and travel to those games. But if you get three points it doesn't matter where you win."