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Two Sides Looking For A Win
Published : 30 Jul 2011 10:43:54
The prospect of another wek without a win does not inspire Danny Lennon or Craig Brown. They will send their sides out with one aim - get three points! Marc McAusland is keen to force his way into the St Mirren team to capitalise on the feelgood factor at the Paisley club. McAusland watched the first game of the season in frustration from the bench as Saints produced some flowing football against Dunfermline. Steven Thompson's failure to convert a penalty was the most glaring miss as Saints created several chances in a 0-0 draw. Lee Mair and Darren McGregor started at centre-back but with last season's captain, John Potter, now playing for Dunfermline, McAusland is hopeful of making his mark this season. He said: "Everybody was quite upbeat about the performance, we played really well in the first half. We created a lot of chances, we just didn't come away with the right result. We stuck to the game plan in the first half and got the ball down and played football. Thommo missing the penalty was a blow but we kicked on from that and still produced a lot of opportunities and were unlucky not to take three points. He has been getting a wee bit of stick but he can't get too down about it, he just needs to make sure he scores the next one for us. I think the fans were quite happy, they gave us a good cheer after the game. That was positive and we played the way we want to play. We had a great pre-season, the training was really positive. The gaffer has told us to play from the back, get the ball down and play simple passes if they're on, if not try and hit Thommo. The signings the gaffer has made have been brilliant, good experience with Tealey (Gary Teale) and Thommo.'' McAusland started 27 games last season but in many of them he played out of position, so he is determined to grab his chance in central defence. He said: "I prefer to play centre-half, last year I played right wing-back and right full-back. Hopefully I can get a lot more games at centre-half this season and just try to push myself in the first team. I just need to keep my head down and work hard. The gaffer has said there will be times this season when we need to play three at the back. That's when I will be looking to step in and if a couple of centre-halves don't play well, hopefully I can step in and make a name for myself.'' Aberdeen manager Craig Brown will not be making any calls to bring Steven Smith back to Pittodrie. The full-back has been told he is no longer part of Norwich manager Paul Lambert's plans as they prepare for life in the Barclays Premier League. Smith spent the second half of last season on loan at the Dons, but Brown says news of the player's availability has come too late. He said: "I would imagine our budget for defenders is fully-committed. He's a good player and we know his capabilities, but we've brought in one or two defensive players so I would think budget constraints would mean we can't keep looking for another one.'' Stephen Hughes is another Norwich player who is free to find a new club. But Brown, who is in the market for a forward, is unlikely to make a move for the former Rangers and Motherwell midfielder. He said: "We've brought back Chris Clark and we've got Kari Arnason. We just can't keep adding players willy-nilly. Unfortunately this situation has arisen late and there has been a bit of anxiety for us to get a squad in early, or as early as possible. Therefore, these positions are committed at the moment. These are players we admire but we admire a lot of players and you can't get everything you want. You've got to use the budget to the best possible advantage to the team.'' Meanwhile, Brown has predicted a tough test against St Mirren. The Dons head to Paisley seeking their first win of the new season after being held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone in last week's SPL opener. Brown said: "I saw the game the other night at Dunfermline and they played very well. They will be a tough opponent, particularly away from home.''