BUDDIES boss Danny Lennon reckons he will have to become a ‘Tinkerman’ next season ... to protect his players from burnout.
St Mirren will have one of the SPL’s smallest squads and Lennon has vowed that each and every player will be called upon as the campaign unfolds.
He has also pledged that he won’t be afraid to change a winning team if he feels some of his stars need a rest – even if it leads to comparisons with Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned his ‘Tinkerman’ nickname for chopping and changing his line-up on a regular basis while he was in charge at English giants Chelsea.
Lennon told Express Sports: “It’s important that we keep the players as fresh as we can for every single game.
“There will be games we win and then, the following week, we’ll change that winning side.
“There will be games when some players will come out – not necessarily through injury – and there won’t be many of them who play all 38 league games, plus cup ties.
“Every single member of our squad will have a major part to play during the season.
“At the end of the campaign, some of them will have made more of a contribution than others but every single one of them will be involved.”
Last season, goalkeeper Craig Samson was the only Saint to play in every competitive game as he made a total of 47 appearances.
Top scorer Steven Thompson notched up 43 appearances but Lennon will be keeping a close eye on him and the rest of the squad to make sure they aren’t being left exhausted by their efforts.
He added: “There were a lot of demands placed upon big Stevie Thompson last season and he did fantastically well for us but it’s important that we look after the players.
“They all want to play but it’s very difficult to go out there and perform at your maximum in every single game.
“We have to take care of the players, so we will be monitoring them carefully.”
Lennon is currently putting his squad through their paces at St Mirren’s Spanish training camp on the Costa del Sol and he has promised to take time out to explain his team selection philosophy for the season ahead.
He added: “There are four reasons as to why a player would drop out of the team – they are either injured, suspended, lose their form or it’s tactical – and the players will know what the reason is.
“If any player loses form, it’s up to us to get them out of the team and then back on track as quickly as possible. That comes about through good coaching.”