Nigel Hasselbaink eyes continued Gregory Tade partnership

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
Gregory Tade congratulates goalscorer Nigel Hasselbaink
Gregory Tade congratulates goalscorer Nigel Hasselbaink

Nigel Hasselbaink hopes that he and neighbour Gregory Tade are developing a telepathic understanding that will keep him in St Johnstone's starting line-up.

"We stay in the same building," the Dutchman said of his strike partner.

"Being with him every day helps as we talk about football. We know what we can do together and I enjoy playing with him.

"But we have lots of strikers wanting to play and we have got to do well to stay in the team."

The competition for places has somewhat diminished through injuries and suspension, with manager Steve Lomas complaining before kick-off that he had only 13 fit first-team players from which to choose.

Former QPR striker Vine was suspended after his second red card of the season
Former QPR striker Vine was suspended after his second red card of the season

But Saints still managed a fifth straight victory that sent the Perth side leapfrogging above St Mirren into fourth spot in the Scottish Premier League.

And, despite Steven MacLean's long-term absence, Rowan Vine is poised to return from suspension, while recent signing Craig Beattie continued his progress towards full fitness by coming off the bench.

Lomas was pleased that recent work on the finishing of Tade and 21-year-old Hasselbaink had resulted in the Dutchman's second goal of the season.

The nephew of former Chelsea and Netherlands striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has not been a prolific scorer since he arrived in Scotland to join Hamilton Academical after leaving PSV Eindhoven following a loan spell with Go Ahead Eagles.

So holding off that competition for the striking role in Perth was more important to Nigel than the opposition - despite his latest goal coming against the club with whom he rejected a new contract in the summer.

"I just treated it like any other game," said the forward who had angered some in the St Mirren ranks before the match by saying he had moved to a bigger club. "It was not a big deal.

"I am happy to score because l am a striker, but the most important thing was to get the three points and claim another win."