St Mirren V Hibernian at St Mirren Park : Match Preview

15 February 2013 04:31
St Mirren V Hibernian - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

No hurry for McLean

Kenny McLean is a man on a mission, not a man in a hurry.

The 21-year-old St Mirren midfielder has had to live with endless speculation about his future over the past year and it is believed within the club that he is likely to depart in the summer.

McLean, though, is more excited about the possibility of a Scottish Communities League Cup winners medal when the Buddies go up against Hearts in the Hampden final next month.

And the Scotland Under-21 player also harbours dreams of glory in the William Hill Scottish Cup, where the Buddies host Celtic in the quarter-finals next month.

It is the prospect of silverware and success which is driving McLean on.

He said: "We have the final coming up so there is a great chance for a medal and that is massive for someone at such a young age like myself.

"I am enjoying my football at St Mirren, enjoying life in the SPL which is a good level, so there isn't much more you can ask for at 21.

"People keep saying a move is going to happen but I need to put that to the back of my mind and concentrate on what's in front of me.

"If I do go I think it has got to be right for both parties.

"The club have treated me ever so well since I came here from Rangers as a young boy when things didn't work out at Ibrox.

"They took me in and gave me my chance at such a young age.

"I have played 70 or 80 games for the first team which is great.

"So I think any move has got to be right for both parties and the club will say the same, I'm sure."

McLean admits the Hampden showpiece occasion on March 17 against the Gorgie club looms large but knows final places will be up for grabs in the intervening matches.

Ahead of the visit of Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank on Saturday, he said: "The final is always going to be there at the back of your mind.

"It is a massive achievement for the players, the management and the staff, for everybody.

"But there are plenty games before that and I think we need to concentrate on what's ahead of us, take it game by game and get a good bit of momentum going and keep it going and hopefully come the final, we will still be playing well.

"Hibs aren't playing too well but you can't look too much into that.

"It's about what happens on the day, we know that, we have a good run going right now but we were on a bad run ourselves."

St Mirren have no fresh injury worries. Long-term absentees Darren McGregor (knee) and Thomas Reilly (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon claims he did not recognise the Easter Road squad that lost to St Johnstone on Monday - then insisted the harsh words he issued to them after that defeat were nothing compared to their own feelings on the matter.

The Edinburgh outfit found themselves two goals down inside the first 26 minutes at Easter Road earlier this week as they twice left themselves open to sucker punches from Perth striker Rowan Vine.

Former Hibs midfielder Paddy Cregg added a third after the break before Leigh Griffiths countered with a late consolation that did little to ease the pain from a sore 3-1 scoreline.

For Fenlon, though, it was the manner of the performance that hurt him most as he looked out at a side which bore little of the swagger shown earlier in the campaign.

It was a defeat which means Hibs have now won only twice in their last 11 games but he claimed his criticisms would sting nowhere near as much as his players' own personal thoughts.

He told Press Association Sport: "The boys are critical of themselves. They know Monday wasn't good enough. I don't mind losing but there is a way to lose and we didn't lose properly.

"We lost giving up and that isn't us. To be fair to lads, they have been different class all through this season but I would have thought they would have been more critical of the performance than I was."

Defender Tim Clancy remains Fenlon's only injury concern.

The Leith side will have to do without suspended midfielder Gary Deegan as well as Clancy, who is struggling with a hamstring strain.

Fenlon said of his injury situation: "Tim is still not ready yet and will be another week away I think. Everyone else trained today so I think he will be the only one missing."

Source: PA