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Jim Goodwin happy with ‘gamble’ on St Mirren new boys

Jim Goodwin File Photo
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin admitted pitching both of his new signings in for their debuts in Saturday’s goalless draw with Dundee United was a risky move.

But he felt the performances of Connor Ronan and Matt Millar justified the decision to start them despite neither being fully fit.

He said: “It was a bit of a gamble throwing them both straight in from the start.

“Unfortunately, the predicament we’re in at the moment, we don’t have two or three weeks to get them up to speed.

“The plan was always to give them an hour. I managed to sneak another five or six minutes out of them and I’m sure they’ll be a bit sore.

“You could see they were getting fatigued but you can see what they’re going to bring to the team.

“I thought Connor was excellent technically on the ball. You could see glimpses of it and he and Jamie McGrath will be brilliant together once they get an understanding.

“Matt Millar needs to get up to speed and needs to lose a bit of weight, maybe. He needs to get sharper but all in all I’m satisfied.”

Goodwin also praised Dylan Reid, who made his first St Mirren start as a 16 year-old.

He added: “He’s only 16 and I don’t think there’ll be too many players younger than him throughout Europe in any of the top leagues this weekend.

“I thought he was excellent. There was a bit of immaturity in his game which you understand given his age.

“With Alan Power and Ethan Erhahon missing I could have gone with Ryan Flynn in there, who was excellent when he came on, but you’ve got to be brave and give these young kids an opportunity.

“Dylan is one we have real high hopes for. I’m glad he came through OK, defensively he still needs to learn the position but that will come with time.”

Tam Courts was similarly happy with his own debutants, especially Finnish winger Ilmari Niskanen.

The Dundee United manager said: “He probably wasn’t earmarked to play as long because he has had a bit of a disrupted pre-season and training schedule, so fair play to his conditioning to last.

“I thought he was excellent. Ilmari is going to be a huge player for us.”