DOUGIE IMRIE yesterday urged his St Mirren team-mates not to get too down about the dodgy penalty decision that cost them against Hibs.

The Buddies were left gutted when referee Willie Collum awarded their SPL rivals a soft spot kick in Paisley on Saturday.

Leigh Griffiths made no mistake and his strike was ultimately what separated the two teams at the end of the 90 minutes.

But midfielder Imrie, who came on in the second half, feels the decision was harsh and a draw would have been a fair result.

And he is confident that Danny Lennon's side can return to winning ways when they take on St Johnstone in Perth this weekend.

He said: "The boys just had an off day. Hibs came and just frustrated us. They put five in midfield and stopped us playing a wee bit. We never really got into our rhythm at any stage.

"The penalty looked pretty soft to me, but Hibs took their chance when it came along. We have just got to pick our heads up against St Johnstone.

"It will be a very difficult match, but it is one that we can win and we should certainly go into it with confidence despite our loss against Hibs.

"Before the game on Saturday we were undefeated in four games. If we hadn't have lost to Ross County we would have been nine games undefeated.

"We have been enjoying a good run of form. It was really disappointing to lose the match in the manner that we did. I think we merited at least a point for our efforts.

"But these decisions are very hard for referees to make and I am sure we will benefit from a few similar awards ourselves this season so we have to put it behind us."

St Mirren manager Lennon brushed aside suggestions the League Cup final with Hearts next month has caused his players to switch off in the league.

Imrie agreed with that assessment and stressed he would be working hard in the weeks to come to force his way back into the first team.

He remarked: "I'd like to play more. I'm sure everybody will be trying to impress."