Kilmarnock 0-0 St Mirren: Alan Stubbs eyes 'marquee' striker signings for Buddies

St Mirren's Craig Samson and Cammy Smith embrace
St Mirren began their season with a penalty shootout win over Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup

Alan Stubbs revealed his intention to bring "marquee" attacking signings to Paisley after his first competitive game as St Mirren manager ended with a penalty shootout victory.

The Buddies beat Premiership counterparts Kilmarnock 3-2 on spot-kicks following a goalless 90 minutes of Scottish League Cup action.

And Stubbs wants to sign more strikers before the league campaign begins.

"It is an area where we have got good players," he told BBC Scotland.

"But I want to add to that and, hopefully, fingers crossed, we can make a few marquee signings before the season starts."

Newly-promoted St Mirren played swift attacking football and created the better chances in a high-tempo Rugby Park affair.

Danny Mullen, playing as a lone striker, scored the decisive penalty to earn the visitors two points from their Group H battle.

Hayden Coulson in action for St Mirren
Hayden Coulson made a strong St Mirren debut with a series of surging runs

Six of Stubbs' eight summer signings featured - three started; three were introduced from the bench - with on-loan Middlesbrough left-back Hayden Coulson particularly impressive.

"He was someone that excited me before I got him," Stubbs said of the pacey 20-year-old.

"I'd like to thank Middlesbrough and Tony Pulis for allowing me to take him and hopefully give him a platform to do really well."

In their two fixtures against Premiership teams last term, St Mirren were thumped 5-0, in the League Cup, and 4-1, in the Scottish Cup, by Partick Thistle and Aberdeen respectively.

Although conceding his team were guilty of profligacy, Stubbs was encouraged by how his callow players dealt with top-flight opposition.

"[Goalscoring] is the one area that we haven't really worked on," the former Hibernian and Rotherham United boss said. "We've worked on defensive set-up in terms of the back-four and the lads just in front of them.

"It's something we'll look to work on and improve over the next three weeks, considering at times we didn't reward ourselves for some of the good play. We created a number of good opportunities.

Cole Kpekawa (right) tussles with Eamonn Brophy
Cole Kpekawa (right) made his St Mirren bow after signing for the club earlier on Friday

"One thing for the players is that they had to take belief that they deserve to be at this level and not to feel inferior, because speaking to a couple of them, last season when they played Premiership teams, they got a bit of a doing.

"That is the most pleasing aspect for me. There didn't look a big gulf between the teams which is good and gives us a little measure of what we need to do in the coming weeks."

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