St Mirren V Aberdeen at St Mirren Park : Match Preview

29 September 2013 04:31
St Mirren V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Dilo can empathise with Lennon

St Mirren goalkeeper Chris Dilo worked under five different bosses as his final year at Blackburn turned sour - now he is desperate not to see another manager axed as Danny Lennon battles to keep his job.

Dilo signed for the Buddies in the summer after his three-year spell with Rovers ended amid a managerial farce.

Steve Kean, Eric Black, Henning Berg and Michael Appleton were each given no more than 15 games in charge by controversial Ewood owners Venky's last season before Gary Bowyer got the job on a permanent basis after two spells as caretaker boss.

But 19-year-old Dilo's move north has coincided with Saints' own miserable start to the season and Lennon now faces mounting pressure having failed to lead his team to a single victory from seven attempts.

The Frenchman, though, has had enough of the uncertainty that comes with changes in management and has thrown his support behind his under-fire boss.

Dilo told Press Association Sport: "Blackburn was a good place to learn my trade. When I first moved there they were still in the Premier League and were playing against big sides like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, so it was a really good experience being there and seeing how all these teams prepared.

"I also got the chance to train with the first-team a couple of times, which was great for a young keeper. But then we went down and it became a harder place to be around.

"They went through a lot of managers. The players all tried to get on with things and not think about it too much. But it still affects you having so many managers in a single year. It was not nice.

"So it is not good to see Danny going though a bad experience here at St Mirren. He is the one who brought me to St Mirren and who is trusting me right now. He is a really good manager so I hope the players can get a result for him and turn things around."

On-loan Swansea stopper David Cornell started the season in goal for Saints but after conceding 10 goals in just five Scottish Premiership starts, he was dropped for last week's 2-0 defeat to Hibernian at Easter Road.

Dilo recovered from James Collins' early goal for the Leith side to put in a decent display - one of the few St Mirren players who could claim to have done so - and now hopes to retain his place for Monday's visit of Aberdeen to Paisley.

"It's not the easiest situation to be coming into a team with the results the way they are," he conceded. "But I just have to get on with it and show what I can do.

"I had a pretty nervy start against Hibs but after that I grew in confidence and it became easier and easier to make saves. Hopefully it will be even easier in the next game against Aberdeen.

"Hopefully I can keep my place in the team. I have worked hard in training to show the manager I can do a good job."

Under-fire St Mirren boss Lennon is sweating on the fitness of defender Marc McAusland, who is rated as "touch and go" to feature.

Lennon also has further worries in his back four after Danny Grainger's red card against Hibernian and the English left-back is suspended.

Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds feels the team are clicking at both ends of the pitch as they look to extend their three-match winning run at St Mirren Park.

The Dons are unbeaten in five games since successive defeats against Celtic and Hearts threatened to derail their promising start to the season.

Their run started off with goalless draws against Alloa and St Johnstone, the first followed by a penalty shoot-out win, but they have since beaten Partick and Scottish Premiership leaders Inverness, and thrashed Falkirk 5-0 in the League Cup.

Those results came despite a significant injury list which has seen Russell Anderson, Willo Flood, Barry Robson and Niall McGinn join Chris Clark on the sidelines in recent weeks.

McGinn and Robson could add to the feelgood factor by returning at St Mirren Park on Monday night and Reynolds is determined to keep the run going.

"There is a buzz about the changing room," he said.

"That is four or five good results that we have had on the bounce. It was nice to score some goals. We have been playing well in games but not been taking our chances. Everything is now starting to come together, everyone is starting to bond.

"As a defender I am pleased we are keeping clean sheets. Teams are struggling to score against us.

"The fact we have kept five clean sheets in a row means we are getting some recognition for this and it is a talking point. It is great that we have had that level of consistency and teams are finding it hard to score against us."

The centre-back added: "At the other end it is good everyone is chipping in with goals and we are not just relying on one player.

"Last season if Niall did not score we were not winning games. Certainly this year we are creating a lot more chances and we are now taking those chances."

McGinn and Robson could return from ankle and knee problems respectively but Anderson, Clark and Flood remain on the sidelines while Andrew Considine is a doubt.

Source: PA