STEVIE THOMPSON believes a clean sheet as the key to St Mirren's hopes of continuing their three game unbeaten run against Kilmarnock today.
The Buddies have done well since losing at Celtic Park on December 15.
And Thommo's four-goal salvo during that sequence has been pivotal to grabbing seven points from a possible nine.
The festive hot streak has taken the Paisley men to within three points of an SPL top-six berth, which is the club's target for the campaign.
Now their striker believes a solid defensive foundation is a must against Killie.
Thompson said: "Although we have scored eight goals in our last three games, we have conceded six.
"So although it may come as a surprise, coming from a striker, I believe the most important thing for us against Killie is to keep a clean sheet.
"As long as we score one more than the opposition that is fine, but we are putting pressure on ourselves to score a lot of goals.
"But we have out self belief back and that makes a huge difference."
In the previous meeting between the two sides, Killie claimed a 3-1 victory at Rugby Park, but Thommo has no doubt his team can grab revenge.
He said: "Last time we just did not take our chances early doors and, conversely, that is something we have been doing well of late.
"We have taken seven points from a possible nine, and at Inverness we were only denied the win by the woodwork.
"Although unsuccessful, of the three results we have had so far over the festive period, that was possibly the most pleasing one although we beat Motherwell and Dundee United.
"That is because Inverness are playing with an great self-belief. But we went up there and should have had the win.
"So we have put together a solid platform and if we can keep it going today it will have provided a fantastic launch pad into 2013.
"It is our home game and the first one of the new year and getting off to a winning start at home has significance."