St Mirren will stay up, says manager Danny Lennon

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon at Tynecastle

Manager Danny Lennon told St Mirren fans to "keep believing in us" after seeing his team pass up a third opportunity to secure league safety.

A 3-0 loss at Hearts leaves the Buddies eight points ahead of bottom side Dundee, who meet Aberdeen on Sunday.

"There's no doubt in my mind," was Lennon's reply when asked if his side could beat the drop.

"There are six very important points remaining for us to play for and we want all six."

A point from either of their final two games - a home meeting with Aberdeen before a final-day clash at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park - will be enough to relegate Dundee, who need to keep up their winning run to stay alive.

Lennon denied that his players are nervous but is asking his League Cup winners to shrug off a bad habit of sluggish openings.

Hearts dominated the first half and led at the interval through strikes from Jamie Walker and Kevin McHattie.

St Mirren were further undone after the break when Kenny McLean was sent off for conceding a penalty that was converted by Jamie Hamill.

"There were key moments in the game that certainly went in favour of Hearts," added Lennon.

"There is no doubt they were the better side in the first half but we regrouped at half-time and had a bit of urgency.

"We created three good chances within five minutes of the restart.

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Interview - St Mirren boss Danny Lennon

"And then a key moment in the game goes against us - for the third week winning may I add.

"I haven't seen the incident back but my own thoughts - and the reaction of my players - say it's never a penalty.

"I must compliment my players for taking the game to Hearts when we were down to 10.

"That was the pleasing aspect but what is a concern is the way we are starting games.

"That's three weeks in a row now that it's taken us 45 minutes to get started.

"And we'll need to work hard on that for the next two games.

"I've got a great group of players and they have done fantastically well over the course of the season. We don't want that to fritter away over the last few weeks."

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