Football - Lennon tips McGowan to make impact

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon has backed Paul McGowan to have a major role to play in the second half of the season now that he is back in action.

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Football - Lennon tips McGowan to make impact

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Paul McGowan is being tipped to have a big influence in St Mirren's run-in

The Saints playmaker made his comeback in the Boxing Day draw at Inverness after being sidelined since September with a shoulder injury. Lennon says the whole squad has been boosted by his return and the Buddies boss wants to see McGowan make an impact between now and the end of the campaign.

He said: "It has given everybody a lift just getting Paul back into training. We managed to get him back two games ahead of schedule and we will assess him and see how he is. He will be a massive influence in this sprint now until the end of the season."

Another player who could be key for Saints is Steven Thompson, who has netted three goals in the last two games to bring his tally for the season so far to 10 goals.

Lennon said: "Steven is very intelligent inside the box, he's a wonderful finisher, and he's on course to beat the record he had last season of 16 goals. He's in a good place just now, he's working extremely hard, he's looking fit, as fit as I've ever seen him. He is also contributing massively outside of his goals.

"We have a lot of players hitting form at a very crucial period for us so long may that continue."

However, the Paisley club will be without Kenny McLean for a number of weeks after he underwent minor knee surgery on Friday, although Lennon can take solace from a large part of the recuperation period taking place during the winter break.

The manager said: "Kenny went under the knife this morning, it was a minor operation for Kenny.

"He will get a little tidy-up and it's come at a good period for him as he's only going to miss two or three games.

"With the winter break coming, it gives him a great opportunity to hopefully get back for the game on the 19th. If not, he'll certainly be available for selection for the [League Cup] semi-final."

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