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Danny Lennon skips breakfast but does not shirk on the pre-match preparation

Danny Lennon was up at 6am yesterday morning watching Dundee United - who visit his St Mirren side on Boxing Day - take on Ross County.

Danny Lennon
Danny Lennon

So intent was he on studying the footage, looking for weaknesses, that Mrs Lennon had to remind him of his need to go to work and there was no time for breakfast.

He still seemed full of fuel, though, upon his arrival at St Mirren Park, chatty and upbeat despite losing to Motherwell to Saturday. "Although we've had two straight defeats, we've lost three games in the last 12, so our form's been pretty good," he insisted. "I've got a group of players that have showed through that time they can go out there and pick up points."

Points, though, have been hard to come by against Dundee United in recent weeks. The Tannadice club have now won six matches in succession, swash-buckling their way past dazed defences en route to scoring 22 goals. "A lot of credit has to go to Jackie McNamara and his staff and the way that they've turned these young players into first-team players," said Lennon. "They are right, right talents. They're playing very exciting football, free-flowing football, they're playing really hard for each other.

"So it's going to be a really good challenge for us and I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation like both sets of fans. They're in very good form. They are rightly getting the plaudits just now, that's what football is all about, the attacking, the goals. The positive stuff, nobody wants to read about defending, but it's so important to us. As I said, we'll look forward to a very stern challenge and we've got to be at our best all over."

With the festive period and all its tinsel-stained forced happiness well and truly upon us, Lennon gave the standard answer for what he desired: three points. He also spoke of desiring some clarity in his own position. When it was pointed out that with his contract ending at the end of the season, he would be free to talk to other clubs in January, he laughed, before insisting he would love to stay and guide his side, like a more rugged, slightly-sad Louis Walsh, through the next stage of their 'journey'.

"I can understand at this moment in time that the club's up for sale," he said. "If a new man comes in then he may want to bring in his own man. That happens throughout the whole of world football. It would be nice to know exactly where we're all coming from and where we're going to go. I want to continue this journey we've all been on at this club."

With last season's League Cup win behind him - and plastered all over the walls of St Mirren Park - Lennon believes he has earned the right to take the team forward. "What I would say, is that my cv and my pedigree in the short time I have been a manager has been pretty decent, but the sale of the club . . . the board of directors have been more than fair, more than supportive of me during my time here, through the good times, the bad times. Perhaps they want a wee bit back now, and I understand that, but I'll just continue to do my job on a daily basis and prepare my team to pick up points in each and every single game that comes along."

What remains unclear is who will form part of that team. Lennon will peer through the transfer window hoping to catch a glimpse of some undiscovered, talented bargain. "As the window approaches," he said, "like other managers out there - even the ones that are sitting at the top, teams that are flying - they all want to go and try to improve what they have. We're no different.

"I haven't started talking to the people who are out of contract yet. The younger players at the club, the ones who have come up through there - the assets, if you like - have been tied down. The others have got to continue the decent bit of work they've done in the last 12 games and go out and earn themselves a contract."

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