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St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin planning to utilise Lee Hodson in midfield

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin insists Lee Hodson has not been brought back to Paisley to be Paul McGinn’s replacement – because Ryan Flynn has already taken that slot.

McGinn is on his way for a medical with Hibernian after the clubs struck a deal on a fee for the 29-year-old right-back.

But while Hodson – who has returned to Saints on a six-month loan from Gillingham – also made his name at Rangers and Northern Ireland playing in that position, Goodwin plans instead to use him to plug the gap left by midfielder Kyle Magennis’ long-term knee injury.

McGinn could now end up facing the Buddies for Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday if his Leith switch can be concluded before Friday’s transfer deadline.

But Goodwin is not worried about being left short at right-back after hailing midfield convert Flynn’s recent displays.

He said: “It’s not a position that I’m concerned about. If Paul leaves then we have Ryan Flynn, who has been quite incredible at right-back.

“I knew Flynny could play the position I just didn’t anticipate him doing as good a job as he’s doing at the moment.

“As it stands Flynny is keeping Paul McGinn out the team, so if Paul is here after tomorrow night he won’t be taking Ryan’s place.

“With Kyle being out for six to seven months, his was a position we knew we had to fill.

“So the fact that Lee was available made it a no-brainer. He can play a number of positions – left-back, right-back and the middle of the park – which makes it all the more appealing.”

Hodson spent last season on loan in Renfrewshire under former Saints boss Oran Kearney.

And his successor has not ruled out making his latest stint permanent if Hodson impresses again.

Goodwin said: “Of course it would be naive of me not to ask the people here last year about what type of character he was.

“And I have to say everybody from the kitman to Gus MacPherson, the director of football, and the players in the dressing room, everybody spoke extremely highly of him which made the decision even easier.

“Obviously he’s under contract with Gillingham for another year but hopefully if he’s not in their plans and he does well from now to the summer then it’s another option for us to consider.”