St MIRREN playmaker Paul McGowan admits he would trade a slot in the Scottish Premiership’s top six for another day out at Hampden.
The midfielder tasted the joy of success after helping the Paisley side lift the League Cup last season. But Danny Lennon’s men failed to build on their 3-2 triumph over Hearts – the club’s first major trophy win in 26 years – as they slumped to a 11th-place league finish. Now, with Queen of the South standing in their way of another extended cup run, McGowan admits he would sacrifice his Premiership ambitions if it guaranteed them another final appearance.
The 26-year-old said ahead of tonight’s fourth-round replay in Paisley: “It was so important for the club that we held on and got the replay. We want to go on another cup run. We got a taste of it last season when we won the League Cup and we saw what it did for the town and the fans, so hopefully we can do it again.
“But what we achieved last season just makes you hungry for more success. I’d take a cup run any day of the week over finishing higher up in the league. I’m not sure the manager would agree, but for me that’s how special these competitions are.”
Meanwhile, St Mirren are in line to take Newcastle youngster Adam Campbell on loan come 1 January, claims agent Spencer Downey, who helped to arrange moves for Paul Dummet and Conor Newton to the Paisley club as part of an affiliation agreement with the Geordies.
Said Downey: “Danny (Lennon) thinks he is fantastic. He’s wanted Adam for a while. Newcastle value what St Mirren have done for Paul and Conor and believe sending Adam up there would be good for him.
“He’s a livewire striker and will bring so much to that team. Steven Thompson will love him. He has so much energy and is rapid. He has a good shot off of both feet and will score goals.”
Doonhamers manager Jim McIntyre, whose team held Saints to a 2-2 draw at Palmerston Park last month, believes his side should have no fears tonight.
He explained: “Our prize for beating St Mirren earlier this season in the Scottish League Cup was a trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts in the next round. We went there and played really well and should have won, so we don’t need to fear this game.
“We eventually lost on penalties but the boys acquitted themselves really well. If we put in a performance like that at St Mirren, and some of their players are off their game, then we have a good chance.”
McIntyre added: “We are away from home against a side from a higher league and who have some terrific players. You could say that we are up against it a bit. However, it is a cup tie and we will look to take the game to our opponents. That is what we try and do in every game anyway, so I am not going to change anything. We went to Dumbarton and won on Saturday and will take confidence from that.”
Derek Young misses out due to a toe injury while Michael Paton, who scored in the first Scottish cup meeting, is a major doubt after picking up a hamstring injury at the weekend.