McGinn return made the difference for Buddies, claims Goodwin

Goodwin’s men clinched a 2-0 win against St Johnstone as the captain made his first appearance of the season.

By Press Association Published: 20 October 2019 - 9.00am

Sport

Football

Scotland

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin credited the return of Stephen McGinn as a pivotal factor in his side’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday.

The Buddies captain made his first league appearance of the season as a result of an injury to Ryan Flynn and was a key figure in midfield.

Goodwin admitted McGinn had been “unlucky” not to play before now but felt it was a sign of a strong squad.

He said: “I thought Stephen was outstanding. I know what he’s capable of. He’s been unlucky in that he picked up an injury in pre-season and during that time Sam Foley and Ryan Flynn developed a very good partnership. I felt we were OK in that department.

“It’s similar to what’s happened with Gary MacKenzie. He started the season and was doing excellent but got injured and Kirk Broadfoot has come in and hasn’t put a foot wrong since.

“It’s great for me – and for the players, to keep them on their toes. They know that if they do slip up or come out of the team for whatever reason then they are going to have great difficulty getting back in.

“Stephen did exactly what I asked him to do. He was disciplined, he used his experience, he sat in front of the back four and controlled the game. I thought he turned in one of a number of very good individual performances out there.”

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright urged his players to take more responsibility on the pitch after failing to deal with a hopeful free-kick in the build-up to St Mirren’s opening goal.

And he cursed his strikers’ wastefulness when they were well on top in the opening half hour of the match.

He said: “If you can’t defend a 45-yard punt into your 18-yard box then you don’t deserve to win the game. And it’s happening too often.

“There are not enough people wanting to take responsibility. The responsibility for that goal lies with my goalkeeper and defenders who should have been organising it. They need to start leading and being a bit more decisive in their defending.

“Plus we need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal as we had a couple of chances that we tried to walk into the net.”