Football Expert & Columnist
Andy Walker says St Mirren can banish any thoughts of relegation with victory over Ross County
Andy Walker says St Mirren can banish any thoughts of relegation with victory over Ross County.
Last Updated: 15/01/13 1:07pm
Over the last couple of months, Danny Lennon's side have flirted with thoughts of relegation trouble when they had just one win in 10 games.
That sequence of results brought them closer to bottom side Dundee but the gap is much wider again and with a run of consistent form they might still have a chance of finishing in the top six.
In order to achieve that goal, the fitness of playmaker Paul McGowan is essential to St Mirren's chances. He's the type of player to make them tick and very capable of linking play from middle to front.
Jim Goodwin plays a captain's role in the centre of midfield and is another who can be relied upon for consistent high performances.
With a semi-final against Celtic in the League Cup on the horizon, players must realise that this could be a special season for them.
Former Cardiff City and Burnley striker Steven Thomson has enjoyed another productive year and is given excellent service by Paul McGowan, Gary Teale and Dougie Imrie.
In this January transfer window, it remains to be seen whether Danny Lennon will look to sign a replacement for the talented left-back Paul Dummett who has just returned to Newcastle Utd after a successful loan spell.
What they have already done is secure 19-year old Patryk Mikita on a trial basis from Legia Warsaw with a view to a loan period being done until the end of the season.
I have to say, any St Mirren supporter I've spoken to this season enjoys watching the type of football Danny Lennon and his assistant Tommy Craig want to play. They take chances at times but I think it's brave and when it comes off it's a joy to watch.
Ross County settled into life as an SPL club very comfortably with excellent results early on - including a draw at home to Celtic - and the nine-point lead they currently hold over bottom club Dundee should give the Highland club the cushion they need to avoid relegation.
It's a blow to manager Derek Adams that Richard Brittain has chosen to sign a pre-contract with St Johnstone. The midfielder has been a stand-out performer for the newly-promoted club and if selected, he'll need to convince the fans that he's totally committed to getting results for the team that currently pay his wages.
The biggest problem I see in Raith Rovers is a lack of goals. With just 21 strikes up until now, it's an area that desperately needs improvement.
Despite the nine-point lead over Dundee, I doubt Derek Adams will be taking anything for granted and a striker to complement the threat of Colin McMenamin must be his priority.
My guess is that St Mirren will completely banish any thoughts of a relegation struggle with a home win and begin to focus on the clubs immediately above them in the table. Any sort of consistent run will see them shoot up a very tight SPL table.