He was once teammates with Dundee United’s lethal frontman – but Jim Goodwin hopes his St Mirren side can deal with Lawrence Shankland in Tayside today.

The Buddies travel to Tannadice this afternoon looking to put a difficult week or so behind them. After positive COVID test results wiped out their goalkeeper department, they had two tough tests against Hibs and Celtic.

St. Mirren v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hibs and Celtic have come recently. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Whilst the 3-0 defeat to Jack Ross’ side was tough, positive signs were shown in the 2-1 Celtic loss. They’ll need to be on their guard this afternoon, however, if they are to stop Shankland adding to his 28 goals in 35 Arabs appearances.

“He’s a great boy, Lawrence,” said Goodwin. “An ex team-mate of mine at the club here and he’s gone on to great things. Everybody knew the technical attributes that he had. He always had nice feet and an eye for goal.

“His goals probably single-handedly kept us up the year he was here on loan from Aberdeen if I’m being honest. But there was always question marks over his physical fitness.

“But the older and more mature he’s got, he’s educated himself on the front. He’s done a personal training course and had got himself fit, which everybody can see the benefits of.

“He’s got an incredible scoring record in the Championship and now wants to prove he can do that in the Premiership. Hopefully that’s not against us.”

Defending the box

Whilst Goodwin was overall pleased with the performance against Celtic, there was one thing he pinpointed as an area for improvement. St Mirren have been solid at the back this term overall, but defending the box better is something that could help them out.

St. Mirren v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

St Mirren showed promise against Celtic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“The result was disappointing and we’ve got nothing to show for the effort and the commitment of the players,” said Goodwin of the Hoops defeat.

“But there were certainly a lot of positives with regards to the shape of the team and how difficult we made it for Celtic. Celtic were restricted to a lot of long-distance shots. We never really got cut open which is really pleasing.

“The disappointing thing is the goals against. We spoke about not giving away cheap free kicks because we know the quality of delivery that’s coming in the box. That’s Shane Duffy got two in two.

St. Mirren v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Jim Goodwin wants improvement from the Celtic match. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“But from our point of view we need to defend the box better when it comes in. I think we have conceded ten goals up until now, six of them from crosses, two from corners. If we can tighten up in that department we’ll give ourselves a better chance because we look solid from open play.”

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