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Heffernan could save Butcher 'a couple of bob' in market

FOR all that Terry Butcher has made no secret of his desire to bolster his attacking options during this transfer window - the twin toothless titans of Rowan Vine and James Collins have proven less than adequate - it may be that the solution, as Buddha would say, will come from within.

Paul Heffernan is nearing fitness again, after injuring himself just five minutes into Butcher's first match in charge of Hibernian. The opponents that day were Danny Lennon's St Mirren, the same foes he will likely line up against this afternoon. The 32-year-old striker has made three appearances in recent weeks and although he looked rusty after his six-week spell out of action, Heffernan is determined that he can make a similar impact to a hot new signing.

"Hopefully I can save the gaffer a couple of bob," Heffernan said. "I've always said that when you are a striker, you are paid to score goals, and you're judged on how many goals you score. So if you're injured or not in the team you can't score the goals. Hopefully now I'm fit I can get in the team, make up for lost time and show the manager I can stay in the team."

Heffernan is visibly enthused about the prospect of playing a pivotal role in Butcher's new-look side. According to anoraked statisticians, the new focus on supplying the ball to the wingers at pace and delivering balls into the box is already evident. It is a very different philosophy to that of former manger Pat Fenlon, concedes Heffernan, and one that he feels will suit him down to the ground.

"He [Butcher] came in and wanted the team to get the ball forward a lot quicker than we had done under the last manager," Heffernan revealed.

"Just before I got back fit they were saying the amount of crosses we were getting into the box was the most we had done for a long time. There was more of a possession game under the last manager. But, as I said, the quicker you get the ball into the final third, it will suit the strikers more."

Meanwhile, Danny Lennon, the St Mirren manager, is not worried by Derek McInnes' claims that his new signing Gregg Wylde failed to show enough desire to claim a first-team place at Aberdeen. The former Rangers winger was freed from Pittodrie on Wednesday just hours before agreeing a move to Paisley.

"Derek's comments don't worry me, not at all," said Lennon. "I appreciate Derek's honesty and I'm sure Gregg will do so too. Gregg will be frustrated by the lack of playing time he had up there but he has made it clear where he wants to go.

"Now he has to go out and prove he still has the talents that made him his mark at Rangers. He was a whirlwind, the new kid on the block, but he has only made about 50-odd appearances in the last five years. So he now has to build up his cv again."

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