ST MIRREN defender Darren McGregor reckons he can learn something new about his game when the Buddies embark on a cross-border raid tonight.
Manager Danny Lennon will lead his squad down the M74 to take on Carlisle United at Brunton Park as their pre-season preparations continue.
Tonight’s game is the first of two warm-up matches that Saints will contest over the weekend – with League Two side Accrington Stanley to follow at the Crown Ground on Sunday afternoon.
And McGregor believes that the trip into the unknown will be good for his football education.
The 26-year-old centre-half told Express Sports: “It’s definitely going to be a test for me and I’m looking forward to it.
“I picked up a little niggling injury during our warm-weather training camp in Spain, which meant I missed out against Barnsley over there, but I watched the game and they looked strong and sharp.
“I’d expect this game against Carlisle to be the same.
“I’ve never played against an English League One side before, so this will be a chance to test myself and learn a few things about my game that I didn’t know before.”
McGregor also believes the mini-tour of the North of England will also help the Saints players to bond ahead of the new season.
He explained: “As well as playing the games this weekend, we’re getting a wee bonding session with the guys and that will help morale, which is always a big factor in any successful team.
“When we were in Spain, we also had some time to get to know the new guys who had come in and that can only help the team.”
Former Cowdenbeath midfielder Jon Robertson and strike duo Lewis Guy and Sam Parkin have all been settling into their new surroundings after joining Saints this summer, while trialist goalkeeper Grant Adam last night penned a two-year a deal with the Paisley club.
And McGregor has welcomed the new recruits with open arms.
He said: “It’s been really good as a big percentage of last season’s squad is still here and the new guys who have arrived have fitted in nicely.
“One of our strong points at St Mirren is that we all get on with each other. There is a real sense of togetherness, which is a great quality to have.”
Kick-off for tonight’s match at Brunton Park is at 7.15pm.