Daily Record

Jim Goodwin insists he won't let St Mirren drift as club chase seventh spot and Scottish Cup success

Daily Record logoDaily Record 9/04/2021 08:00:00 Ben Ramage

Jim Goodwin insists his Buddies won't hit cruise control as their season winds down to a close.

Despite missing out on their top-six target, the Saints manager is adamant his players have far too much to play for to put their feet up just yet.

As well as chasing a first seventh-place finish since the SPL was formed in 1998, St Mirren have also been handed a relatively kind draw in the Scottish Cup fourth and fifth rounds - avoiding a clash with any of the Premiership's big guns in both.

That has Goodwin dreaming of another trip to Hampden next month, with the Saints already having narrowly lost out to Livingston in the Betfred Cup semi-finals in January. With players also fighting for contracts and places next season, he expects there to be no drop off in commitment when they travel to Fir Park tomorrow to take on Motherwell.

Goodwin told Express Sport: "Finishing seventh would still be a massive achievement, the first time a St Mirren team have managed that since 1989.

"It would be a great way to finish the season after the disappointment of missing out on the top six.

"There's a number of incentives there for the players. Whether it's a new contract here or elsewhere, or an international call-up which one or two of them will be targeting at senior and under-21 level.

"There's pride at stake as well. We don't want this season to just fizzle out. I have to give great credit to the players for their reaction last weekend against Hamilton because the disappointment we all suffered there a few weeks before it was so huge.

"It shows the character I've got in this group, to be able to pick themselves up and go again.

"The Scottish Cup draw we got was definitely kinder than it could have been. You always want to avoid the big four, Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibs because we know how hard those games tend to be. I don't mind facing them later on in the competition.

"For all of those reasons we won't let our standards drop."

While the Buddies came mighty close to breaking their top-six exile last month, ultimately it was draws that killed off their challenge.

Goodwin is determined to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since January against Motherwell to ensure they head into their Scottish Cup fourth-round clash with Inverness with some strong momentum.

He added: "We want to get back to winning ways in the league. We had far too many draws prior to the split.

"It's frustrating to think back to the Livingston game in Paisley when we conceded an own goal, and the Hamilton one when we were ahead but we conceded a deflected goal.

"Those dropped points cost us. We've only lost three games in our last 13, to Celtic, Rangers and Hibs.

"We've drawn five though and a couple of them should have been wins. If we defend properly and deal with Motherwell's front three then we give ourselves a really good chance."

9. huhtikuuta 2021 11:00:00 Categories: Daily Record

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