‘Shellshocked’ Stephen Robinson says St Mirren were ‘bullied’ by Kilmarnock

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Stephen Robinson believes Kilmarnock’s strike duo ‘bullied’ his St Mirren players during their astonishing second-half collapse at Rugby Park.

The Saints led 2-0 at half-time and they looked comfortable but they were put to the sword after the break by the rampant hosts.

Derek McInnes’ men scored five goals in a crazy 18-minute spell through Kyle Vassell (2), Marley Watkins, Danny Armstrong and David Watson to win 5-2 and move two points above their opponents in the cinch Premiership table.

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St Mirren wilted under pressure in the second half and were unable to cope with Kilmarnock strikers Vassell and Watkins, with Robinson labelling the performance ‘unacceptable’.

St Mirren manager Stephen RobinsonSt Mirren manager Stephen Robinson
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson

The Northern Irishman said: “I’m shellshocked. It’s very difficult to explain. We were in total control and we were excellent in the first half. We said at half-time that we’d need the same performance in the second half and we started brightly.

“They didn’t change anything at the break, they didn’t make any changes and it was the same shape. I’d love to say that it was a tactical change that caused us problems but it wasn’t.

“We didn’t deal with balls over the top and the front two threw us about – they bullied us.

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“As a collective, we didn’t stop their momentum. We tried to slow the game down and prevent them from creating opportunities.

“We need to learn from that and how to deal with the game when the momentum swings the other way because we didn’t.

“It was three goals in five minutes and it was very difficult to get any changes on. I didn’t get the subs on quick enough but we couldn’t as the goals kept going in.

“It was five but it could’ve been more and we must learn lessons from that.

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“The experienced boys didn’t manage the game properly and we got punished. To concede five goals is unacceptable and it’s very uncharacteristic for us. We need to look at ourselves as we got punished for our mistakes.”

Meanwhile, Killie boss Derek McInnes heaped praise on Watson after the Kilmarnock starlet added another stunning goal to his growing collection.

McInnes said: “What a goal that was from wee Watson. That’ll be remembered here for a long, long time. He doesn’t score ordinary goals.

“He was playing as an auxiliary right-back today because Brad Lyons and Lewis Mayo couldn’t play. He wasn’t really a right-back out of position but we asked him to nullify Greg Kiltie and he got forward brilliantly.

“It was a great day for the club and we’ve taken a huge step towards securing a top-six finish.”