St Mirren: Lennon goes after eighth-place finish

ST MIRREN are looking for a new manager after telling League Cup winner Danny Lennon that his time in Paisley is up.

Danny Lennon arrives at St Mirren Park for talks with the board this morning. Picture: SNS
Danny Lennon arrives at St Mirren Park for talks with the board this morning. Picture: SNS

Lennon had hoped for more time to achieve his ambition of leading the club into the top six but his fate was sealed at a board meeting yesterday morning.

The former Cowdenbeath boss led Saints to one of the greatest days in the club’s history – a 3-2 Hampden win over Hearts – only 14 months earlier but an eighth-place finish in the Scottish Premiership this season was not enough to convince directors. A club statement read: “The board of directors have today decided not to offer Danny Lennon an extension to his contract that expires in June 2014. Danny and his players gave our club one of its finest days on 17 March 2013 and they will always be remembered by the club for that wonderful day.

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“Decisions like this are never easy. However, we would, in particular, commend Danny for his professionalism and the dignified way he has carried out his duties during a very challenging season. The board would like to thank Danny for his service to the club over the last four years and wish him every success in the future.”

Lennon replaced Gus MacPherson, who left Paisley in similar circumstances, after leading Cowdenbeath to consecutive promotions.

He kept them up in his first season following a relegation battle with Hamilton and, with more scope to bring in his own players, led them to an eighth-placed finish in 2012, the club’s highest since 1989. Lennon built a talented team capable of playing some stylish football but consistency has eluded them and they were drawn into a relegation battle with Dundee after winning the cup.

The 45-year-old came under intense pressure after his team’s poor run continued into this season – they only won one of 16 games after their Hampden triumph.

The Buddies then went on a good run and were the first team in the bottom six to secure their safety but it has not been enough to save Lennon’s job.

The board delayed a decision last week, meaning Lennon was unsure of his future when he went into Saturday’s final game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Hearts which also proved to be the end for Tynecastle boss Gary Locke.

Speaking after the game, Lennon said: “I’ve had a fantastic four years and I’d love to go beyond that and I believe that we have the ability.

“I am my own biggest critic and I am first to admit I’ve made mistakes along the way and it is learning from those mistakes. From the first day I came in here four years ago I’m certainly a better man for that.

“With that learning curve, I would certainly love the opportunity to take them to next level and our ambition is the top six.”