Goodwin urges Buddies to discover ‘finishing touch’ in quest for goals

Saints have only scored three goals in the Premiership so far.

By Press Association Published: 03 October 2019 - 3.21pm

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St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin insists they only need to find those elusive finishing touches in their quest for goals rather than going back to square one.

Saints have only scored three goals across seven Ladbrokes Premiership games after drawing blanks against Albion Rovers and East Kilbride in the Betfred Cup.

Goodwin’s side have still been competitive after losing only six goals – a defensive record which is better than every team outside of Celtic and Rangers.

They sit above Hibernian and St Johnstone in the table ahead of Saturday’s visit to Motherwell, and Goodwin believes things will start to click in the final third.

“I’m of the belief that if you’re solid and hard to break down, then things will change at the other end,” he told the PA news agency.

“It’s not because we are sitting with 11 men behind the ball and nobody in the opposition half. That’s not the reason we are not scoring goals.

“We are offensive-minded when we are in possession. We have certainly got creative players within the team: Ilkay Durmus, (Kyle) Magennis, Kyle McAllister, (Junior) Morias, (Tony) Andreu, Jon Obika, Danny Mullen. We have some really good attacking options.

“For one reason or another we have not been able to find the finishing touch, but we have created plenty of opportunities, we have got ourselves in some decent attacking areas of the pitch. For one reason or another we have not been able to take the opportunities that have come our way.”

Goodwin and his coaching staff have been working hard to fix that problem on the training field and he will also think long and hard over his selection for Fir Park.

“We have been doing plenty of crossing and finishing exercises, as you’d expect, but every team does them,” he said. “We have been doing them since pre-season.

“We just need one of them to to find the back of the net now on a game day. We are desperate for the forward boys to get up and running and get that bit of confidence and self-belief that they are desperate for.

“We work hard on the players’ fitness, we work hard on the organisation side of things defensively, and we spend a lot of time on the attacking third and how we are going to try and cut teams open and take those chances when they come along.

“The difficult part of training is that it’s virtually impossible to recreate that pressure of a match-day environment. That’s up to players on the day and I suppose it’s up to me as a manager to pick players who are going to make the difference.”