Football - Lennon backing for Goodwin

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon has backed skipper Jim Goodwin to brush off the ill feeling surrounding their previous meeting against Dundee United.

PA Sport Report

Saints take on United in the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup on Sunday for the first time since Goodwin received a two-match ban for a forearm smash on Stuart Armstrong during the Paisley team's 4-1 win on Boxing Day.

The incident went unseen by the referee but United highlighted the footage on their official social media platforms before Goodwin was cited for violent conduct by the Scottish Football Association.

Saints described United's actions as "unacceptable" but Lennon is keen to move on and believes 32-year-old Goodwin can handle the hostile reception at Tannadice along with his own demons.

"Jim has worked hard and if anybody can get themselves through that, Jim can," the St Mirren boss said. "I have been particularly pleased with the response from him in terms of that and we are working hard to maintain that he stays within the right laws of the game.

"If anyone can do it, then with the character of the man, Jim Goodwin can."

Lennon praised Goodwin recently for shrugging off a two-footed lunge by Partick Thistle defender Jordan McMillan, which earned the full-back a yellow card amid calls he should have been sent off.

And Lennon feels that physical conflict should be part of the Scottish game.

"That's Jim's game," the former Raith Rovers midfielder said. "That's what he thrives on. It's part and parcel of the game.

"I think, from the top of FIFA, it's something that they are trying to stamp out and take care of the creativity. But certainly in Scotland it's a part of the game that you recognise Scottish football with, that passion that is shown.

"And I think we are going to kill that within our game."

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