Suffering Saint David van Zanten last night admitted he and his teammates were chasing shadows as they were overpowered by SPL leaders Celtic.
Van Zanten said Saints were left playing for pride after shipping four first-half goals to the on-form visitors.
The Irishman revealed the Paisley men believed they could put an end to their miserable run against the Hoops – which has seen them fail to score a single goal against the SPL champions in more than two seasons – when they came calling on Saturday afternoon.
But, after finding themselves four down within 38 minutes, the half-time game plan quickly became about damage limitation.
The 30-year-old right-back said: “It was a sore result for us as we were feeling confident beforehand.
“We thought we might get something from the game but Celtic were on top form.
“We probably could have taken the lead and gone 1-0 up but then they go up the park and score a couple of goals and, after that, it is not easy for us to get back into it.
“They had us chasing shadows and, although we worked extremely hard, it just was not enough in the end.”
He added: “At half time, it was just about pride – you go out in the second half and try not to concede.”
Van Zanten said he’ll now tune into Celtic’s match against Barcelona tomorrow night, expecting to see them in St Mirren’s shoes.
He said: “I think it will be a role reversal for them. I can’t see them enjoying the same amount of possession as they did against us. I’m sure it’ll be the other way around.”
MATCH REPORT: PAGE 21