DANNY LENNON, the St Mirren manager, has insisted that resigning from the job has never crossed his mind.

Lennon has come under fire from a section of the club's support following a poor start to the season and a perceived lack of activity in the transfer window. The Paisley side have taken only one point from their opening three games and relinquished their grasp on the Scottish League Cup at the first hurdle in midweek, being knocked out by Queen of the South after extra-time.

St Mirren take on Partick Thistle this afternoon looking for their first home win since February and Lennon remains confident he and his players can turn things around. Regardless, the manager has no intention of falling on his sword as he launched an impassioned defence of his managerial record.

"It's been a slow start to the season for us," said the St Mirren manager. "Things need to improve and I'm not naive. But my remit when I came here was to survive in this league and I've done that, as well as delivering a national trophy to this club for the first time in 26 years. I've also given them their best ever finish in the SPL. That shows to me that I have the tools to get the job done.

"I believe I have the ability to turn this little blip around. Would I ever walk away from it? Never. I love my job and this club enormously. I love the opportunity that they've given me. You have to have belief in the people that you have around you, the staff and the players. I understand the supporters' frustrations and emotions as I feel the same. But I believe a slow start to the season can be turned around."

Lennon spent four years at Firhill as a player, helping them back into the Premier League on the back of two successive title successes. He insists, though, there will be no room for sentiment this afternoon. "I have very fond memories from my time as a player there and I'll always have them with me," he said.

"But I'm now a young manager and I'm trying to get on that ladder of success. I had a very good playing career that lasted more than 20 years and hopefully I can have the same in management. Those were great days at Thistle but now my full attention has to be on doing what I can for St Mirren, nothing else. Thistle have hit the ground running this season, although they lost last week. But it's all about the quality that we bring to [today's] game."

The Paisley side finally tied down the loan signing of Stephane Bahoken from Nice and Lennon felt it was a good way to do business. "I feel for a club of our size and the budget that we have it's important to live within our means and loan deals are a good way of doing that. It's good business for all parties involved," he added.

The particulars of the compromise James Craigen found between his Thistle career and his studies has also proven to be mutually beneficial, even if there is still a perception that the relationship between higher education and football is so strained they cannot stand to be in the same room as one another. It was a view perpetuated by the Thistle midfielder this week when he considered the demands of a match with St Mirren and a sports business management degree he is working towards at Edinburgh University without ever seeming to reconcile the two. "I would never bring my uni work to Firhill; I'd get slaughtered, and I wouldn't get any work done either," he said.

That such a remark was qualified immediately with an impish smile suggested he was aware his studies would be interrupted only by the curiosity of a Thistle squad, although the 22-year-old might also find his own reasons to procrastinate. Craigen has abstained from the student lifestyle to graduate into one which grown men would give anything for; establishing himself in a Thistle team which has accrued five points this season and embellished the club's return to the top flight with assured performances. Passing examinations from more established opposition has come to take prominence for Craigen.

The midfielder has emerged with extra credit having started in each of Thistle's matches so far, a reward for the commitment he has shown to his football career after opting to spread his final year at university over two seasons. His course will resume next month but it is still his education as a top-flight footballer which is likely to offer greater satisfaction. "With the football I couldn't do a full-year course programme so I split my final year into two halves," he said. "The football is what I'm focusing on. [His course] is just getting a piece of paper at the end."

Three points will likely comprise a more significant return in Paisley, then. Craigen, though, bridles at the suggestion that a victory over a beleaguered St Mirren side should be heightened further given that the aspirations of both clubs this season seem tied to the bottom half of the table, while he finds little currency in lowering Thistle's sights to pick off clubs of humble ambition. "They are likely to be around us this season but we have shown that, with the squad we've got, we can take points off other teams as well," he added.