St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin admits he is not interested in making friends on the pitch – or enemies. So the midfielder has been frustrated to find himself developing a villain status in Scottish football.
Goodwin’s combative style has been criticised by Scottish managers including Dundee United’s Jackie McNamara and Derek Adams of and Ross County, who Saints visit today.
Goodwin, 32, said: “I don’t go out on the park on a Saturday to make friends, but I certainly don’t go out to make enemies either. I just go out to play a game of football and do my best for my team-mates and my club and try to win the game.
“I’ll get stuck in but I expect my opponent to get stuck in as well. When the game is over, we shake hands and move on.”
The Irishman felt there was an overblown reaction to him striking United midfielder Stuart Armstrong with his arm on Boxing Day, which earned him a two-match ban after the Tayside club highlighted the incident on their social media platforms.
Goodwin, who begins another two-match suspension after the County match, said: “I have only got myself to blame in terms of what I did during the game and I apologised to the lad Armstrong for that. But I do think the hype after it has been blown out of proportion.
“I don’t think there was an awful lot happening around the Christmas/January period and my bit just took over and they managed to get a week out of it in the press. But it’s a long time ago now and I’ve moved on.”