St Mirren V Motherwell at St Mirren Park : Match Preview

20 December 2012 05:31
St Mirren V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Lennon slams double standards

Danny Lennon has spent the week puzzled by the media criticism heaped upon his St Mirren side following last Saturday's 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat to Celtic at Parkhead.

The Buddies were battered for their defensive set-up and they left with nothing after succumbing to goals either side of the interval by Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper.

Ahead of Friday night's SPL clash with Motherwell in Paisley, Lennon claimed his team, sitting second bottom of the table, were judged by double standards against the champions.

He told Press Association Sport: "The team that loses a late goal with that approach deserve everything they get and we deserved everything we got last week.

"But yet, when Celtic lose 2-1 to Barcelona in the 90th minute, they are unlucky, but it was the exact same game-plan (we had) and we were in the game until the 85th minute.

"And in terms of finances, Celtic are a lot closer to Barcelona than St Mirren are to Celtic.

"I know reporters have to write something and they have decided not to concentrate on Celtic's 2-0 victory, they want to have a dig at us.

"But I will ask anyone in the media, how many times has my team played like that?

"We went there with a game plan and it worked fantastically well for us, they didn't cut us open in open play, they scored with two set plays and where we let ourselves down was when we had the ball."

Striker Thomas Reilly is out for 10 weeks after fracturing his ankle in an Under-20s fixture earlier in the week.

Defender Lee Mair returns from suspension for the Well clash.

Playmaker Paul McGowan is back in contention after recovering from his shoulder injury.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has told his players to take nothing for granted.

The Steelmen moved into second spot behind Celtic last week when they came from behind to win 3-2 win at Hibernian, their fourth successive league victory on the road.

However, while his players have looked far more potent away from the environs of Fir Park this season, and Saints sit second-bottom of the table, the Well boss said: "I reminded the lads today that we were flying at this time last year, winning five (away) on the bounce and went to Hearts on Christmas Eve and put in a very poor performance (to lose 2-0).

"So just because we are going well and playing well away, it doesn't mean to say you just have to turn up and think you are going to win the game.

"I think we showed that at Hibs; the first 45 minutes wasn't great although the second 45 was obviously a massive contrast to that. So the players are well aware what is needed and we have to keep focused game by game.

"St Mirren are probably in the position no one would have expected them to be in.

"In Danny Lennon's defence he has been without two of his key players, Darren McGregor and Paul McGowan, so it has been a tough time for them.

"But if you look at the quality they have, they have good experienced players allied to the likes of Kenny McLean.

"Gary Teale is capable and big Steven Thompson up front, I could go through a few who are all capable

"They certainly have enough quality to start picking up points and it will be a tough game, there is no doubt about it.

"But as always with us, we give respect to the opposition but I always have great belief that if our players can play at their maximum we can go anywhere and win a game."

Stuart Carswell will miss out after the midfielder picked up a knock last week and has failed to recover.

Defender Steven Saunders played for the Under-20s this week following his recovery from knee surgery but is not yet ready to be included in the squad.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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