New-look Buddies inspire St Mirren midfielder Jim Goodwin

St Mirren midfielder Jim Goodwin
Goodwin is seeing more of the ball as St Mirren play through the midfield

St Mirren midfielder Jim Goodwin says he is enjoying the new style of football being played by the Scottish Premier League side this season.

The 29-year-old Irishman has been part of the Buddies team that has earned plaudits for its attractive brand of football in the SPL so far.

"I've been involved in teams where you go back to front and pick up second balls," said the ex-Hamilton player.

"The way we're playing is brilliant; it is really enjoyable to be part of it."

Goodwin moved from Accies to Paisley at the start of the year after a six-month spell with Billy Reid's team and has noticed a change in the way Saints manager Danny Lennon wants to play the game.

"I came in January and it was a difficult time to change the way they were playing it but he expressed towards the end of the season that he wanted us to become a footballing side," he said.

"Kilmarnock showed that a club of our size can do that."

Goodwin credits the arrival of coach Tommy Craig for helping to instigate a new footballing "philosophy" and noted the addition of players such as Steven Thompson and Gary Teale at St Mirren Park.

"It's a terrific way to play the game. The manager introduced players in the summer that were capable of carrying out his ideas," he added.

"We worked very hard during pre-season. We do lots of possession games and small-sided games in training to keep the boys nice and sharp.

"We are not surprised at the level we are playing at because some of the young players we have in the squad are terrific, they are so comfortable on the ball.

"The fans at St Mirren really appreciate the way we are trying to play and for young kids coming to watch football here in the SPL it's important to show them how the game should be played."

Lennon, meanwhile, will have to cope with the loss of defender Darren McGregor, who has a long-term injury, and Nigel Hasselbaink, who lost his appeal against a red card last weekend and will now be suspended for two matches.

"Darren saw the specialist yesterday," said Lennon.

"They are waiting on the swelling going down but there is definitely cruciate damage in there.

"We are talking between six to nine months out but with the character that he has it will be at the lower end of that scale."

The Buddies boss confirmed that he is in the market for a replacement for McGregor but feels confident that he already has a player in the squad who can perform comfortably in the role when St Mirren taken on Motherwell on Saturday.

He said: "We are now asking Marc McAusland to step up to the plate.

"Nothing will change about how we go about our business and hopefully we can keep the same rhythm even though there will be one or two new faces in there tomorrow."