DANNY Lennon is tipping midfield maestro Paul McGowan to put St Mirren’s opponents to the sword this season ... as long as he can cope with the SPL’s hatchet men.
Former Celtic star ‘Gowser’ was in sensational form last season as he pulled the strings for Lennon’s team.
However, he also became a regular target for the league’s hard guys as they struggled to cope with his silky skills.
Now, as the Buddies prepare to kick-off the new campaign by going into battle with Inverness Caley Thistle tomorrow, Lennon is hoping McGowan can maintain his red-hot form – and stay cool under pressure once the tough tackles start flying in.
He told Express Sports: “Paul gives you absolutely everything on the pitch and he wears his heart on his sleeve but, sometimes, I would like him to be that bit more calm.
“Although some of the things that happen on a football pitch might leave him boiling inside, I don’t want the opposition players or their supporters to see that.
“I would rather Paul kept it inside and learned to control it and, to be fair, he’s working very hard on that side of things.”
St Mirren fans had been given a look at McGowan’s talents when he joined the Paisley club on loan from Celtic during the 2010/11 campaign but it was last season, after he signed for the Buddies on a permanent basis, that he really shone.
He scored eight times for Saints during the season but Lennon believes there is even more to come in the campaign that lies ahead ... especially if he follows instructions to be more direct in the final third of the pitch.
Lennon added: “Scoring goals is the hardest thing for a player to do but Paul should have been in double figures last season.
“If he is lacking anything at this minute in time, that would probably be it.
“Paul is very much a team player and nothing is too much for him but we have worked on various things to try to get him into more goalscoring positions.
“He now has the option of guys who can run in beyond him, creating space for him, and we are trying to get him away from twisting and turning so much.
“We’re basically saying to Paul that, if there is a shot there, take it – because that opportunity might not come along again during the game.”