THANK goodness Paul Cook turned down the St Johnstone job or else there might have been very little to talk about.
As the Perth club’s search for a new manager enters its third week, the lack of a distraction on the pitch allowed ample time to peruse the stands in search of Derek McInnes’ potential successor.
Gary McSwegan and Darren Jackson were both identified and immediately disregarded as viable candidates, while anyone whose hair possessed a ginger hue was considered to be Steve Lomas.
You can only hope Lomas was not the strawberry blond fella who dropped his pie at half-time or else the former St Neots Town manager’s reign at McDiarmid Park has got off to a rather inauspicious start.
All of which did little to strengthen the cause of Alec Cleland. The interim manager is eager to assume the position full-time, but his candidacy has been largely ignored so far and reports that Lomas has now been interviewed will not have been heartening.
His record of just one point and no goals from his two matches in charge is not much of an endorsement, either.
The malaise which has enveloped the Perth side -- they were largely indolent against St Mirren -- will concern Cleland, but should not be used to cast aspersions on his ability as a coach.
The former Everton defender, who is working in conjunction with midfielder Jody Morris, does not lack the respect of the squad, but the dearth of a doyen has allowed them to slip into a state of melancholy. It will only be assuaged once an appointment is made.
Not everyone will be in a rush for that to happen. Murray Davidson continued his comeback from a knee injury as a substitute against St Mirren -- it began with a cameo against Inverness Caledonian Thistle two weeks ago -- and will appreciate the extra time to get back up to speed.
“With a new manager coming in you want to be fit, as everyone will have a clean slate and will be looking to impress,” said the St Johnstone midfielder. “It is a good time to be coming back fit and hopefully it can be sorted soon. The club needs stability if we are going to go forward and that’s what we are all waiting for.”
The need for progress is also exigent for St Mirren. The Paisley side suffered a disreputable exit from the Scottish Communities League Cup last week, beaten by Ayr United, while this win was their first in five matches.
That it was attained by a dunt forward may offend Danny Lennon’s sensibilities, yet the use of two imposing strikers suggested the St Mirren manager has tacitly acknowledged an occasional need to abjure his favoured passing style.
“It was beautiful,” said Jeroen Tesselaar, the St Mirren full-back, presumably referring to the fine strike from the impressive Kenny McLean rather than the build-up. “We played with a little bit of a different style. We still played good football but had two central strikers. It worked out for the goal.”