Jim Goodwin insists he will not repeat the mistakes he made in his first season as St Mirren boss.
The former Buddies captain was lured back to Paisley from Alloa at short notice last summer after Oran Kearney’s sudden departure.
Goodwin admits that he was guilty of setting his team up not to lose rather than chasing victory because of concerns over his own lack of top-flight managerial nous.
Now, having clocked up 12 months of experiences in the Scottish Premiership, the Irishman feels more assured about his own place in the Saints hot seat.
He said: “I’m a hell of a lot more prepared this time round. I’ve learned so much from that first season.
“I was probably a little bit naive, probably a little bit negative as well and possibly gave some of the teams too much respect, just because of my lack of experience at this level.
“A year on, I feel a lot better about my own ability in this league and I’m really looking forward to hopefully showing that.”
The first test will come when St Mirren kick off the new campaign at home to Livingston.
Goodwin is confident his new-look defence – comprising goalkeeper Jak Alnwick and defenders Marcus Fraser, Richard Tait, Joe Shaughnessy and Conor McCarthy – is tough enough to deal with Gary Holt’s no-frills outfit.
He said: “It will be a physical test but Livingston are a decent team on the ball if you give them time and space.
“But make no bones about it, they put the ball in your box at every opportunity. They work hard to get throw-ins and corners and every free-kick won from the halfway line forward is put into your box and you have to defend it.
“The lads will have to stand up to that but physically, I don’t think there will be too many teams who bully my lads this year.
“We’ve got a new goalkeeper in Jak Alnwick who we’ve got high hopes for.
“The back four look really strong and really physical. That was something I felt last season we needed to address.
“We were quite a small team and I felt there were occasions were we looked a bit vulnerable from set plays.
“When I look at the back four now they are all big strong leaders.
“Marcus Fraser captained Ross County, Richard Tait captained Motherwell in the past, Joe Shaughnessy had the armband at St Johnstone, as did Conor McCarthy at Cork City. We’ve also got Jack Baird who is a young, hungry player who’s great at defending.
“So I’ve got lads now at the back who really enjoy defending. That’s what we need as we’ve got some great attacking options. We just need to make sure we’re solid at the back.”
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