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St Mirren confident of keeping Marian Kello

Marian Kello in action for St Mirren. Picture: SNS

Marian Kello in action for St Mirren. Picture: SNS

  • by STEPHEN HALLIDAY
 

ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon is hopeful he can extend Marian Kello’s stay with the Paisley club after watching the Slovakian goalkeeper spare them from defeat to Hearts.

Kello joined Saints in October on a short-term deal which is due to expire in January. The 31-year-old pulled off a stunning save to prevent Callum Paterson netting a stoppage-time winner in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against his former club. “We are very much underway in terms of negotiations with Marian,” said Lennon. “Hopefully we’ll have a bit of closure on that in the next day or two. I’m quietly confident on that one.”

Lennon was frustrated his side could not capitalise on Steven Thompson’s second-minute opener, but paid tribute to Hearts’ attitude and resilience in earning a point through Jamie Hamill’s 47th minute equaliser. “It was a terrific start for us, we kept the forward momentum going after scoring but we just couldn’t get another goal,” said Lennon.

“We regrouped at half-time and warned our players that Hearts were going to fight for every single point. I think that was shown by the five yellow cards they picked up to our none. I’m not saying it was a dirty game but it shows how committed Hearts are. I must take my hat off to Jamie Hamill. I thought his technique was fantastic but it was very disappointing from our point of view that we have three good opportunities to clear the ball prior to it falling to him.

“We then picked up a wee bit of momentum again and created a few things at the other end. I thought we should have had a stonewall penalty when Jim Goodwin’s shot was handled. With the last kick of the ball, we could have come away with nothing were it not for a fantastic save from Marian. But we should never have got ourselves into that position with the quality we had in the first half.”

Paterson was left to rue Kello’s late contribution but the 19-year-old is eagerly looking forward to Thursday night’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road. “It was a great save and I couldn’t have caught the ball any better,” said Paterson. “A sloppy early goal has cost us three points today and the chance to get back to zero points in the table. But we’re now just one win away from getting onto positive points and hopefully we can do it against Hibs.”

 

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