ST Mirren midfielder John McGinn has claimed that team-mate Jim Goodwin is being unfairly treated by opposing supporters and match officials. Goodwin was booked on Saturday after appearing to catch Hibernian’s Sam Stanton with an elbow, and was substituted soon after by manager Danny Lennon.
McGinn did not dispute that offence or any other committed by Goodwin this season. But he insisted that other players, himself included, were more likely to be treated leniently, and suggested that referees were treating Goodwin according to his reputation rather than his actions.
“I think it’s very unfair what’s happening to him,” McGinn said after his team’s 3-2 win at Easter Road on Saturday. “Jim’s was definitely not a booking. From the first minute the opposing fans are on his case. Maybe it does swing the referees’ minds a wee bit.
“I think it’s really unfair, because Jim had three fouls and he picked up a yellow card. He gets unfair treatment compared to the other players. It’s not fair at all, because it puts the team at risk and it’s not Jim’s fault. I think it’s really harsh and he needs to be treated with a bit more leniency. I think it’s something that has to be brought up and challenged.”
Lennon also came to the defence of his player after the match, suggesting that Goodwin’s future in football could be in jeopardy. “I really fear for Jim in terms of his career,” he said.
Apart from the concern over Goodwin, McGinn’s only other worry was the failure of his team to kill Hibs off when they were on top. “In the first half we played with confidence,” he added. “We’re frustrated in there, though I know that sounds terrible when we’ve just won. We should have kicked on and scored more rather than conceding and ending up on the back foot.”
As it was, after being dissatisfied with Willie Collum over the Goodwin booking, St Mirren had the official’s leniency to thank when Adam Campbell handled in the box late on as Hibs pressed for an equaliser. The Englishman, who had an excellent match, at first feigned ignorance of the incident when asked about it, then said Collum had made the correct decision.
“I don’t know what incident you’re talking about,” he said. “It was totally accidental. It took a dodgy bounce and hit my arm. The referee called it right. There was no intent there at all, so it would have been a harsh penalty.
“We’d have been devastated at dropping two points after that first-half performance. There was a split second when I was certainly worried. It was good to get back to winning ways. In the last few weeks we’ve had a few bad results and we were looking to bounce back. Luckily we’ve done that.
“When your team’s playing as well as we did, popping it around like that, the confidence flows through everyone. We were very good and we deserved the three points.”