Lennon wants revenge against Ayr

PA Sport
St Mirren Manager Danny Lennon wants to beat Ayr United
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St Mirren Manager Danny Lennon wants to beat Ayr United

Danny Lennon has urged his St Mirren players to use the hurt from last season as motivation when they face Ayr United again in the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The two sides will face each other in Paisley at the end of the month after being paired together in Thursday's second round draw at Hampden.

Saints were dumped out at the quarter-final stage of the same competition last year by Ayr, who have since been relegated to the Irn-Bru Second Division, and, for Lennon, the wounds are still raw. He said: "It still hurts to this day. Not so much that it was Ayr United, just that it was a wonderful missed opportunity."

Lennon added: "We've got to capitalise on the hurt that we felt last season but we are under no illusions. It's Ayr United once again and we are really looking forward to the challenge.

"Since being here, that's the third time we've drawn them in one of the major competitions. It's eachy-peachy at the moment - one for us in the Scottish Cup and one for them last year in the quarter-final of the League Cup. It's got the makings of a great game and we've got home advantage once again."

St Mirren have Clydesdale Bank Premier League business to take care of before they can turn their focus to the cup and next up is a visit to Dundee this weekend.

The Dark Blues unexpectedly earned their place in the top-flight when they took the place of troubled Rangers after finishing as runners-up to Ross County in the First Division.

Dundee claimed a respectable goalless draw at Kilmarnock in their first SPL outing in seven years last week and will be hoping to make the most of home advantage when the Buddies come calling.

Lennon said: "We're looking forward to the challenge. We welcome Dundee into the campaign. They will be an added dimension in terms of what they will bring to the SPL. We're not here to debate the way they got here. I'm sure Barry Smith will be revelling in the opportunity to manage and pit his wits in the SPL.

"Unfortunately for Barry, he's not had as much time to prepare for the SPL as the rest of us. Although he had his squad together, it was keyed towards the First Division. I'm sure with the added finances that Dundee have gained, he will look to strengthen wisely. They are not here to make up the numbers."

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