St Mirren V Inverness CT at St Mirren Park : Match Preview

06 December 2013 04:01
St Mirren V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Goodwin warning for Inverness

St Mirren skipper Jim Goodwin has told Inverness they can expect a much tougher examination on Saturday than the one the Buddies gave them on the opening day of the season.

Danny Lennon's side kicked-off the Scottish Premiership campaign by sliding to a 3-0 humbling at the Caledonian Stadium back in August.

While Inverness have since climbed to second spot in the table, it took Saints another seven games before they could finally secure their first victory.

The Paisley men now welcome Caley Thistle and their new boss John Hughes to St Mirren Park and Goodwin has promised the Highlanders will not have it so easy this time round.

He said: "We were very poor at the start of the season and we didn't get off to the start we wanted when we played Inverness on the first day.

"But we are a completely different team this time around. I imagine we will be much tougher opponents for Inverness now.

"We were not panicking in those early days but we were disappointed with how we started because we put in a lot of hard work during pre-season. We wanted to hit the ground running but ended up wasting the first six weeks of the season.

"I'm delighted to say we turned it around. The atmosphere in the dressing room is a lot brighter - it's night and day really. Winning games brings confidence and the boys are bubbly now.

"But we are under no illusions, we have a difficult run of games coming up. For us to keep the confidence up we need to keep winning games."

Inverness defender Gary Warren feels the drive and passion of new manager Hughes is exactly what they need to maintain their form.

Hughes takes charge of his first game at St Mirren Park as Caley Thistle look to extend a five-match winning streak and consolidate second place in the Scottish Premiership.

The former Falkirk and Hibernian boss was at training for the first time on Thursday and Warren is determined to give him three points in his first match.

The centre-back told CaleyJagsTV: "You can see from the moment he walked in and met us on Tuesday that he has got passion, drive and energy, which he has brought to us.

"I think it's good for him to come in and see the group of players we are.

"It seems he's a hungry man who wants success, which is good for us.

"We were at training and he has a laugh with us but you can see there's a side, if you are not pulling your weight, you will feel the full force of him.

"It's up to us to get him off to a winning start."

Hughes has stressed he will not meddle with the winning formula introduced by predecessor Terry Butcher and his assistant, Maurice Malpas, before they left for Hibernian.

And he will take a step back in Paisley to allow the players to show him what they can do.

Hughes said: "I will sit in the stand because I just want the boys to go out and express themselves. "There is no pressure on them because there is a new manager. I want them to go and be a free spirit."

The players have shown they are self-motivated in recent weeks having won three games since Butcher told them he was heading to Easter Road.

Warren said: "When you get a situation like this, it's a test of character of the players you have got in the dressing room.

"There are some good boys in there who like to pull each other through.

"We have got some good results and carried on where we left off."

Source: PA