IT’S been nearly 29 years since St Mirren last won at Celtic Park – and Tony Fitzpatrick would like nothing better than Oran Kearney taking that record from him tomorrow night.

Fitzpatrick was the manager when Saints last tasted victory in Glasgow’s east end back in April 1990 when a surprise 3-0 win helped stave off the threat of relegation.

And the St Mirren chief executive would like nothing better than to see current boss Kearney end that long, winless drought by beating the champions on their home patch.

Fitzpatrick said: “There would be nobody more delighted than me if the team can go to Parkhead and beat Celtic. I’d gladly lose my record as the last St Mirren manager to get a win there if it means three points for Oran and the boys. That would be a huge achievement for the whole club.

“I’m actually amazed how long it’s been since we last won there as we’ve had some good teams in that time so you thought someone would have got a win at some point. We were always competitive at Parkhead when I played and then managed but Celtic have maybe moved up a few levels since then.

“So it will be tough, no doubt about it. With it being the first league game after the break, Celtic will be keen to get off to a good start, especially with Rangers breathing down their necks. But I’m a great believer that it always come down to whatever happens on the day.

“We drew with Celtic at home in Oran’s first game earlier in the season and I thought we did really well that night. We’ve signed a few new players in this window and they’ll hopefully thrive in the experience of going there and playing in front of a big crowd.

“I’m really looking forward to it. There’s no better game to open the second half of the league season away to the champions on a midweek game under the lights. A few years ago we could have been relegated to the third tier and here we are playing at Parkhead.”

Fitzpatrick will leave the tactics to Kearney but would love to see St Mirren come out and have a go at Celtic, just as his team did in 1990.

He added: “People talk about these games being a free hit but I think you need to go to Celtic Park with the attitude that you can win the game. If your mindset is just to try to keep the score down then you’ll get murdered.

“You’re always better being really positive and just going for it. And if you end up walking off the park with a defeat then at least you have the comfort of knowing you had a real go. You’ve got to have belief in yourself. And Oran is the type of character who has that in abundance.”

The St Mirren support have a song in their repertoire about that 1990 win and the match remains ingrained in Fitzpatrick’s mind, too.

“It was a special day for us and, although we won 3-0, I felt we could have won by a lot more goals,” he added. “Nobody would have thought we could have pulled off a result like that but we played very well. I remember every moment of that game: Thomas Stickroth’s cross for Guni Torfason for the first goal, Geordie Shaw getting the second and then Paul Lambert with the third. That one came from a throw-in that we had worked on in training and it worked a treat. So it was a special day.

“It’s one the St Mirren supporters still remember and they even sing about it to this day. I still remember it fondly too.”