London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2012-13--> All for 20130504
<-Page <-Team Sat 04 May 2013 Hearts 3 St Mirren 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Preview Type-> Srce->
Gary Locke <-auth Graeme Macpherson auth-> Brian Colvin
----- Kenny McLean
5 of 025 Jamie Walker 13 ;Kevin McHattie 43 ;Jamie Hamill pen 54L SPL H

Lennon looking the other way to avoid relegation

Graeme Macpherson
Football Writer
Saturday 4 May 2013

DANNY LENNON is reluctant to mention the R word.
Leave it be: Danny Lennon has refused to get caught up in a war of words with John Brown, despite the Dundee manager questioning St Mirren's mentality. Picture: SNS
Leave it be: Danny Lennon has refused to get caught up in a war of words with John Brown, despite the Dundee manager questioning St Mirren's mentality. Picture: SNS

While the rest of Scottish football looks at the developing situation at the foot of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and wonders whether St Mirren could yet be dragged into a relegation scrap with a reinvigorated Dundee side, Lennon insists his focus is on trying to steer his team up the table. Whether that makes the St Mirren manager the most positive of thinkers or someone deep in denial depends on your personal point of view.

To be fair to Lennon, St Mirren could yet finish the season as high as seventh. More realistic is the chance to move above Hearts into 10th spot with a victory at Tynecastle this afternoon, a result that would, finally, put the relegation matter to bed once and for all. St Mirren, though, have not found wins easy to come by of late, although their last two have both come against today's opposition – in the Scottish Communities League Cup final in March and at St Mirren Park in the league the month before. A draw, in fact, would effectively be enough to secure top-flight football in Paisley for an eighth successive season courtesy of St Mirren's superior goal difference but Lennon has greater ambitions than to scrape by.

"We've never discussed relegation at all," he said. "We've come off the back of winning a cup and we've only had one defeat since then. The last two performances – or at least the first half at Easter Road last weekend – have disappointed us but we've addressed that and worked on things. I firmly believe that's now behind us and we look forward to the last three games. We're looking for a minimum of seven points from these matches to try and take us up that table and give us our best-ever finish in the SPL."

The backdrop to this weekend's league fixtures has been the sound of John Brown, the Dundee manager, speculating loudly about St Mirren's mental toughness in the closing weeks of the season. Lennon passed up the opportunity to respond in kind.

"I'm led to believe John has made a few comments in the papers this week but he's only doing what he feels will help his team," he added. "Football is a hotbed of opinions and I'll leave it to you whether his comments are right or wrong. I can't control anything John Brown does. I've spoken enough about him – I'm not interested in Dundee."

With the relegation matter still unresolved, St Mirren have parked contract talks with their out-of-contract players for the time being. It seems likely that Craig Samson will be on his way out after turning down an extension but Lennon has not given up on retaining his goalkeeper for another few years yet. "In football, nothing is ever dead. It can change just as quickly as it went the other way," he said.

A similar sentiment has likely been expressed in the households of a few Hearts fans this season as financial uncertainty continues to stalk their club. Michael Ngoo suggested that it had been getting to him too, although the on-loan Liverpool striker bristled at the idea that he might have regretted venturing to the Edinburgh club as a result.

The 20-year-old has been met with challenges since agreeing the temporary move – Hearts have lost a cup final, are in the bottom six, while he struggled to settle so far from home at first – but has since come to enjoy his spell in Scotland.

"There have been highs and there have been lows since I've been here on loan," said Ngoo. "You have to be mentally strong to continue to perform on the pitch with everything that's going on. It's been difficult but we have all stayed together and we are still fighting. Being at Hearts is something I would never, ever regret."

His hope would be to leave the club in the summer knowing it would still be around for some time to come and supporters have been urged again to commit to helping a supporters group buy Hearts. Bankruptcy proceedings have been opened against the club's bank, Ukio Bankas, in Lithuania to bring further uncertainty on the future of Hearts.

"The message to the fans is it's now or never to buy the club," said MP Ian Murray, chairman of the fans' group. "To do that we need supporters to pledge their support."

Taken from the Herald

<-Page <-Team Sat 04 May 2013 Hearts 3 St Mirren 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |