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Oran Kearney calls on experienced Northern Ireland coach to aid St Mirren survival bid: report

Oran Kearney is set to bring in Northern Ireland assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl in a bid to help St Mirren stave off relegation from the Scottish Premiership.

It's been a tough introduction to full-time football for the former Coleraine boss since he led the Buddies to a 0-0 draw with Celtic in his first game in charge.

Five defeats on the trot have followed, leaving the club with just four points from their opening 10 league fixtures. They are being held off bottom spot by Dundee, who have one win and nine defeats from their first 10 outings.

Kearney knows that he has a fight on his hands to keep his side in the top tier, with the second-bottom team having to take on the Championship play-off winners for a place in next season's Premiership.

In order to do that, Kearney is enlisting the help of Northern Ireland assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl, according to the Scottish Sun.

Kearney admitted that he had spoken to his compatriot shortly after taking over the reigns in September but, while speculation linked Nicholl, Gus MacPherson left his role as Queen's Park Head Coach and was named Technical Director at St Mirren.

Nicholl has served as Michael O'Neill's number two with Northern Ireland since March 2015. Should he take up a similar role with Kearney at St Mirren, there is no reason to believe his international commitment would be impacted. The 61-year-old has already served as assistant manager to both both Paul Hartley at Falkirk and Graeme Murty at Rangers during his three-and-a-half years involved with the Northern Ireland set-up.

Kearney has so far kept Brian Rice as his number two. The former Nottingham Forest midfielder was assistant to his predecessor Alan Stubbs.

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