SPL Fanzone: Season review - St Mirren

St Mirren recorded their best ever points tally and position in the SPL, and Stuart Gillespie reflects on a largely positive season for the Buddies

Season highlight

Beating Rangers on Christmas Eve. Beating them any time of year is good enough but the fact it was 24 December made it even better, as did finally beating a Rangers side with nine men.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Season lowlight

Losing in the quarter-finals of the League Cup to Ayr – a team that eventually got relegated from the First Division. Kilmarnock showed that was a winnable competition and it was a huge opportunity missed.

Manager’s report card

We weren’t involved in the relegation battle for once, managed our best-ever SPL finish and points tally, and the football was enjoyable to watch at times. At others it wasn’t and the first three months of 2012 killed any chance of the top six. 7/10

Player of the season

Paul McGowan. He’s a completely different player to the one we had on loan last season and is one of the most creative players in the league. It’s a disgrace he’s not been in the Scotland squad – although perhaps not a surprise considering he’s not playing in League One or for Dundee United.

Expectations for next season

Top six would be nice but if we finish seventh or eighth again that would be reasonable. A cup run is a must and we need to start beating lower league sides at home.

What needs to be on the club’s summer shopping list?

A couple of strikers, a midfielder, a left back and a back-up goalie. At least.

What was the worst moment of the 2011/12 season?

When it became increasingly obvious that the SPL and the majority of its clubs were planning to bend over backwards to ensure a newco Rangers will be able to continue in the top flight rather than be kicked out. Rod Petrie got it right – there should be no price on sporting integrity.

And what was the best?

The implosion from Neil Lennon that we were treated to every time Celtic bottled a big game – which was fairly often.

Stuart Gillespie