Lennon wants players to learn from the past
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon has urged his players to prove they have learned from past mistakes as they prepare to face Ayr United in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
The Buddies were dumped out of the competition by Ayr at the quarter-final stage last year, when Chris Smith claimed the only goal of the game late on.
Lennon insists his side are now stronger for the experience and urged them to avoid a repeat of the defeat when the teams meet again in the second round this time.
He said: "We are still hurting from the disappointment of losing that game.
"What we must do is make sure history doesn't repeat itself and we must show we have learned from the experience.
"They hit us with a sucker-punch but it helped us to develop as a team and we went on to have one of our best top-flight finishes in 20 years.
"You learn more from the defeats than the victories. We are more effective than we were last year.
"These teams can make it difficult for you. We are two leagues above them and that can give them extra fight. But we have to make sure it's all about us and what we can do."
Saints' last senior cup success was back in 1987 when they lifted the Scottish Cup and Lennon is desperate to deliver some long-awaited silverware this season.
He added: "We are always looking to improve and we want to improve on our cup runs from last year.
"It comes down to a handful of one-off games and it would mean the world to everyone at the club to win a trophy - we have been waiting for over 25 years.
"Now we have to get ourselves one step closer to that dream.
"We must match everything Ayr United throw at us and show that we deserve to progress.
"I know what part-time clubs are like and we will have to match them for hunger and earn the right to go through to the next round. We want this and we must show it.
"With all due respect, if we bring all of our strengths, qualities and consistency, and match their desire and hunger, we should be okay."
Ayr will travel to Paisley looking to knock St Mirren out for the second year running with defender Jonathan Tiffoney available after a ban.
Player-manager Mark Roberts also has new signing Marc Twaddle in line for a start as Martyn Campbell, Ryan McStay and John Robertson are all rated as injury doubts.
After a disappointing start to their Second Division campaign, Roberts is looking for a pick-me-up against the Saints.
He said: "We were disappointing against Forfar at the weekend but the fact that this is a cup tie, it's a bit of a local derby and we won here last year will lift everyone.
"If we are to do anything we have to cut out the errors we have been making in defence."