ST MIRREN are set to cut their losses and let £75,000 flop Josh Heaton leave for nothing. Former manager Alan Stubbs shelled out the club’s biggest transfer fee for 25 years when he recruited the defender from Darlington last summer.

Much was expected of the 21 year-old but he played only twice for the first team before spending the second half of the season out on loan at Kidderminster Harriers.

Heaton hasn’t been seen at Saints since and new manager Jim Goodwin revealed the club have decided to let him move on.

He said: “Josh won’t be coming back. There’s an agreement in place for us to allow him to move on and try to get regular first-team football.

“I don’t know him personally as I’ve only met him once but I know he’s had a difficult time since he came to the club.

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“He came here with a lot of expectation as one of the previous managers spent a considerable amount of money on him. But in football sometimes things don’t work out and this is one of those times. We’ll allow Josh to head home closer to his family and try to get a club down there.”

Goodwin expects a “big reaction” from his players tonight when they take on Edinburgh City in the second game of the Betfred Cup. St Mirren were 3-0 down to Championship side Dunfermline Athletic on Sunday in Goodwin’s first game as manager before recovering in the second half to almost salvage a draw. But Goodwin admits they were “all over the place” in the first half.

He added: “We’re looking for a big reaction and I’m sure the supporters will be as well. The players are disappointed as it’s not the start any of us wanted. It caught me by surprise as I hadn’t seen it coming.

“We now have an opportunity to rectify it. We left ourselves too open at times and got done on the counter attack for the three goals. We were all over the place. But that’s down to the fact we’ve not had a lot of time together yet. I think you’ll see a better structure to the team than we saw on Sunday.

“We’re fortunate that the way the competition is set up it allows you to have a bad performance and still go through. In the old-school way we’d be out of the tournament already. But we’ve got three hard games coming up and if anyone think they’ll be a walk in the park they’ll be very much mistaken.”

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St Mirren look set to miss out on Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt and won’t have any new faces in the line-up tonight despite ongoing efforts.

“We’re light on bodies and have players playing out of position,” added Goodwin. “And that’s how it will be until we get some new faces in. We’re working tirelessly on that – myself, Gus MacPherson, Tony Fitzpatrick and the backroom staff are here for hours every afternoon doing our research and speaking to agents.

"The targets we’ve identified are good players but they’ve got other options as well. We just have to be a little bit patient which isn’t something I’m great at."