sport

Lennon's Xmas treat for Buddies

Danny Lennon will allow his St Mirren players to spend Christmas Day with their families before facing Inverness on Boxing Day morning.

The Buddies boss convened a squad meeting to decide a plan of action when the Scottish Premier League fixture was looming.

"We had a collective decision about the game," said Lennon.

"Everyone is wanting to spend quality time with their loved ones and to leave young families early in the evening is not enjoyable.

"We spoke about it collectively and we will come in tomorrow morning for a good hour then they can get away sharp to spend quality time with their families because for me, that is what Christmas is all about.

"We will leave early in the morning for Inverness.

"We went up to Ross County not too long ago and it was fine, so we don't envisage a problem with that."

Lennon's side travel with confidence after their 2-1 home win over Motherwell on Friday night but the former Cowdenbeath manager has some selection problems against the SPL's top scorers, who moved into second place behind Celtic with a 4-1 win over Dundee on Saturday.

Skipper Jim Goodwin and defender Marc McAusland, who both played in central defence against the Steelmen and against Celtic the previous game, are suspended and there are doubts over Kenny McLean (knock), Gary Teale (abductor) and Paul Dummett (muscle complaint).

Lennon said: "We have one or two wee worries. Kenny McLean won't train today, he picked a knock up the other night and is being assessed.

"Gary Teale came off with a tightening of the abductors, although he was feeling better, and there is Paul Dummett and of course we are missing Jim Goodwin and Marc McAusland which is a big blow for us, especially the way we have defended the last two games.

"Jim has been very disciplined, very strong and been able to build from the back.

"I thought he handled Michael Higdon very well on Friday and Marc has had a tremendous season, continuing on from where he left off last season."

Playmaker Paul McGowan could get some game time after recovering from his shoulder injury.

Lennon said: "He is champing at the bit for playing time. We will assess him today and tomorrow."