November 10, 2012
Lennon braced for Aberdeen test
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.3||1.2|
|Goals against *||1.6||1.5|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-D-W||D-W-W-D-L|
|Last 5 away||W-L-D-D-D||D-D-D-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: St Mirren | Aberdeen|
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon is bracing himself for an Aberdeen side still smarting over their cup exit when the two sides meet in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this weekend.
The Dons saw their impressive 12-game unbeaten run come to an end when they were dumped out of the Scottish Communities League Cup on penalties by Saints, who will meet Celtic in the last four.
Aberdeen then went on to lose at Ross County last weekend and Lennon knows they will be seeking a positive response from Saturday's Paisley clash.
However, having endured a disappointing spell in the SPL recently, the Buddies boss is also eyeing this fixture as the match which can kickstart his own team's campaign again.
Lennon said: "They will still be bitter over the cup game and they lost on Saturday again after their unbeaten run.
"We are suffering from four defeats on the trot in the SPL so both teams will want to get back on track as quickly as possible.
"It's got the makings of a great game. We've done particularly well against Aberdeen in the last few meetings and we look for that to remain intact, and we look to bring our best out again on Saturday.''
The cup win over Aberdeen has been the only highlight in a run which has included losses to St Johnstone, Celtic, Dundee United and Hibernian.
Lennon added: "We are ever so close at this moment in time. Our level of performance has been decent but we are certainly suffering results-wise.
"There are a few things that haven't been going in our favour. I'm not one for making excuses but we are missing one or two key players and big refereeing decisions are going against us at the moment.
"If we stick together and continue to work as hard as we have done, I'm sure those things will turn for us.''
Saints will be without suspended skipper Jim Goodwin following his red card in the 2-1 defeat to Hibs.
Lennon said: "We are already missing two influential players for us just now, never mind one being out. When that happens, the full squad is affected. We have Paul McGowan and Darren McGregor out.
"Now we're missing Jim Goodwin on Saturday. For whatever reason, we really don't know.
"I know what type of player Jim is, he brings so much quality and leadership to our team and he's going to be a sore miss.
"But what it certainly does bring is a wonderful opportunity for somebody else to step up to the mark.''
Craig Brown insists revenge is not underpinning Aberdeen's desire to get three points.
The Aberdeen manager is more concerned with getting back on track in the SPL after defeat to Ross County, their first loss in the league since the opening day to Celtic.
Brown told the club's official website "I don't think it's a revenge situation. It's a league game, it's important for both of us.
"They're needing points, we're needing points for different reasons and hopefully it will stay that way throughout the season.
"So it is important we get a win. We've seen situations like Motherwell, who lost four in a row and didn't score a goal then they bounced back brilliantly against St Johnstone, but we don't want to wait four games, we are determined to get back to winning ways.
"St Mirren are a good team and they play well. It's not a coincidence that they are very well coached by my wee pal Tommy Craig. He organises them exceptionally well and Danny Lennon manages them well.
"So it's not surprising they have a good record but we did manage to beat them in the cup replay to get to the semi-final last season so hopefully we can get a result against them.''
"I think the performance last week was okay,'' added Brown.
"We didn't score when we should have, we had two great chances in the first half and two in the second.
"We restricted Ross County to the minimum of opportunities but they managed to take them.
"However, if we play the way we played, keep the ball the way we kept it and create the chances we created, I will not be unhappy because I think over the piece if you play properly you will win more than you lose.
"But I am well aware of the difficulty of an away game at Paisley.''
Brown will be without midfielder Stephen Hughes, who was substituted after just 10 minutes last Saturday with damaged ankle ligaments.
Former Scotland manager Brown hopes midfielder Gavin Rae and winger Ryan Fraser can shake off knocks, but Gary Naysmith is doubtful, while Rory Fallon could return after a stomach bug.