St Mirren V Aberdeen at St Mirren Park : Match Preview
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Dummett wants Saints stay
On-loan St Mirren defender Paul Dummett claims parent club Newcastle want to send him to the npower Championship next season - but he insists he is happy where he is.
The left-back, 21, and Newcastle youth-team colleague Conor Newton were dispatched north to Paisley to gain top-flight experience and helped Saints land the Scottish Communities League Cup.
Their impressive displays have now convinced Magpies boss Alan Pardew to offer them both one-year contract extensions but they have been told another loan stint could be on the cards next term.
English second-tier sides Bolton, Huddersfield and Doncaster are all said to be interested in the pair and Newcastle want to see the players return south for the next stage of their development.
Dummett, however, insists the Buddies are his preferred option.
He said: "Conor and I have both been offered new one-year contracts. I'm not sure what's happening yet and I will have to speak to my dad first.
"But I have loved my time up here. It's improved me as a player.
"If we sign up with Newcastle again I think the plan will be to go out on loan again. I don't know where though, that's not for me to decide. Newcastle decided to send me here to St Mirren so who knows what will happen next season.
"Newcastle think that England is a better league to play in, so they want me to go to the Championship.
"But my time at St Mirren has made me a better player and more confident because I've been playing week in, week out. I've played in front of big crowds at places like Celtic Park and in the cup final, something I'd never have achieved playing for Newcastle's reserves. It has gone well and I've loved it here. I would be happy to come back if I got the chance."
The declaration by Dummett - who arrived in Scotland last summer and has made 33 appearances for Saints - comes just days after Newton also announced he would be happy to sign on again with Danny Lennon's side.
The midfielder followed his friend north in January before registering 17 appearances for Saints as well as a goal in the 3-2 League Cup win over Hearts at Hampden.
St Mirren are hopeful of keeping both players for another year and have secured an agreement from Newcastle that should the players reject offer of a new deal at St James' Park, the English outfit will waive their right to compensation for rearing them.
That development is another boost to the club after confirming their Clydesdale Bank Premier League survival this week, after a tense battle with bottom club Dundee.
The Dark Blues went on a four-game unbeaten streak to put Saints under severe pressure. Eleventh-placed Saints now face Aberdeen at home knowing a win will hand them the chance to equal their highest ever SPL points tally of 43 when they face Kilmarnock on the final day of the season.
But Lennon insists the club must aim higher than the bottom six next term.
He said: "After my first season I deliberately set the bar high to try to change the mentality of the club. For 25 years, our club has been fighting relegation. I want us to look beyond that survival attitude and show ambition to get into the top six. It can't just be little St Mirren any more.
"If you always do what you always did, you will only get what you always got.
"Maybe I have made a rod for my own back by bringing these expectations. But I have the belief in my own abilities and those of my staff. We have shown some wonderful football over my time here but what we need now is consistent results."
Aberdeen midfielder Isaac Osbourne admits the Dons should have achieved more this season.
The Pittodrie outfit currently sit top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League's bottom six and can take a step towards confirming seventh place by beating St Mirren.
But Osbourne admits there is disappointment that Aberdeen did not make more of the talents at their disposal.
Niall McGinn has struck 20 league goals this season while the 14 goals conceded at home hints at a staunch defence that is matched only by SPL champions Celtic.
However, former boss Craig Brown stepped down and was replaced by Derek McInnes after the side failed to sneak into the top six, conceding a last-minute winner to Dundee United's Rory Boulding in their final game before the split.
Osbourne said: "It feels like the one that got away. Considering the squad we have got it's been a disappointing season.
"But then looking back on last season when we finished ninth, it's been a progression. I suppose we just need to hope we can build on that for next season."
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