Jim Goodwin says St Mirren’s match with Hearts tomorrow night is big for everyone involved as he discusses what he likes about Jambos boss Daniel Stendel.
Goodwin’s side face Hearts in a huge match at the bottom. Buoyed by their Scottish Cup progression with a dramatic 3-2 penalty shootout win away to Motherwell after a 4-4 draw, the Buddies are on a high.
A win against the Jambos in league action would be massive. Three points could put them six points clear of Stendel’s men, who are bottom, and five of Hamilton in the relegation play-off position.
There are reasons why Stendel deserves some plaudits according to Goodwin. Despite these kinds words, his side go into the Friday night against Stendel’s side full of belief, but Buddies victory will require hard work.
“I don’t know Daniel Stendel at all, I’ve never met him,” said Goodwin. “I like his approach, I love the way he wants to get Hearts playing, the high intensity, the high press. He wants to play football the right way.
“I think he deserves credit for that approach. I watched them against Hamilton and I think they caused themselves a couple of problems initially which allowed Hamilton into a two-goal lead. But they showed character to come back and nick a point.
“It’s a huge game, it’s massive for both clubs. Nobody wants to be in the position we are down the bottom so it’ll be a real test of nerve for everyone involved. I think my players showed that when the chips are down, they can grind it out and they’re going to have to do that again.”
His men played 120 minutes against the Well, so to play 90 in such a big fixture just 72 hours later will be a physical test for the Buddies. But Goodwin expects his players to be just fine.
“The boys are great, their fitness levels against Motherwell were incredible,” said Goodwin. “You seen the amount of Motherwell players going down with cramp late on and my players still had plenty left in the tank.
“I think I have to give them credit for that side of things, how professional they are during the week and how they live their lives to be able to play a game of that intensity for 120 minutes.
“Of course there was a little bit of fatigue the morning after but the boys have been to the pool to recover. By Friday night, we’ll be raring to go again. There will be no excuses for fatigue from our point of view. Everybody’s played a lot of football since after the winter break. The boys are flying and they are really looking forward to it.”