Zach Hemming is loving life at St Mirren so much that he did not want the winter break to start.
The goalkeeper showed his worth to Saints on Tuesday with a string of point-blank saves to keep the score down against Celtic.
Celtic were two up inside six minutes and had a man advantage for half the game after Toyosi Olusanya’s red card in stoppage time. But Hemming made six excellent stops in the second half to limit the damage to a 3-0 defeat.
The 23-year-old is one of five players to have started all 22 of St Mirren’s cinch Premiership games this season and has thrived under the faith placed in him by manager Stephen Robinson.
The on-loan Middlesbrough player lost his place as Kilmarnock number one during his second loan spell in Ayrshire but was quickly rejuvenated in Paisley.
“I was low on confidence at the start of the season, maybe from last year,” he said.
“But obviously with (goalkeeping coach) Jamie (Langfield), he just sat me down and told me to play my game. I had a few good performances at the start of the season and it just boosts your confidence.
“The performances I’ve had in the last few weeks, I cannot say I’m low on confidence – I’m probably too high on confidence! I’m really happy here, really settled and I think once you’re settled and happy then the football and performances just take over.
“That’s what is happening at the minute. I love training every day, I’m probably going to miss it having the next few days off. But I love being at the club and I’m really happy this season.”
Hemming was disappointed after the midweek defeat despite his own heroics.
“Obviously, pleased with my performance, but it doesn’t take away the fact we got beat 3-0,” he said.
“It’s disappointing because we put in a good performance last week against Aberdeen and we came into the game with a lot of confidence.
“But we shot ourselves in the foot by conceding two goals in the opening six minutes and then the red card didn’t help as well.
“The boys gave what they could in the second half and tried to play as much as we can and keep the ball, but it wasn’t to be.
“You’ve got to look at the league table, we’re sat fifth. We had good results at the start of the season and we’ve had a little dip in recent weeks. But the result as Aberdeen just shows what type of team we are.
“We can really hurt teams with the way that we play. We didn’t concede a goal at Aberdeen and the boys defended unbelievably well. Our organisation was really good and then you come into a game like this and get beat 3-0, it’s hard. But we’ve just got to really get together now.”
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