St Mirren boss Danny Lennon hails Tommy Craig influence

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon (right) with assistant Tommy Craig
Craig (left) has been working with Lennon since the start of the season

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon reckons assistant coach Tommy Craig is "one of his best signings".

"At Cowdenbeath I had a free hand and I learnt from my mistakes," said Lennon.

"Getting the opportunity to manage in the SPL was a great learning curve and I knew quickly you have to get things right, off the park as well as on it.

"One of the best signings I've made has certainly been Tommy Craig, just with that wealth of experience, not only in football but in life."

Lennon brought Craig to Paisley in the summer and has credited his 61-year-old assistant with a significant role in St Mirren's subsequent improvement.

The Buddies have flourished under Lennon and Craig, whose long CV includes coaching spells at Hibernian, Celtic, Aberdeen and Newcastle, moving up to fifth in the Scottish Premier League ahead of Saturday's visit to Celtic Park.

"First and foremost you go for them for what they can bring to your football club, whether they are experienced or young," Lennon said of his decision to approach Craig.

"Tommy was one that I identified, he was one that was in my mind for a period of time and I'm just delighted that we are now in a very, very good position and hopefully we can continue to build on the good piece of form that we've been in."

Meanwhile, Lennon is still waiting to hear whether Dutchman Ilias Haddad, who recently suffered a family bereavement, will accept the offer of a contract extension until the end of the season.

Lennon, who signed a new contract this week, said: "I've not had any word back from Ilias yet. He went through a tough time a couple of weeks ago.

"So we'll let him go on. He is under contract to January anyway.

"He is in no rush to let us know but obviously the quicker he lets us know then we know exactly where we are."