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Board Statement: Alex Rae and David Farrell

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St Mirren have terminated the contracts of both Manager Alex Rae and Assistant Manager David Farrell.
The Head of the Club’s Academy, Allan McManus will take the team on an interim basis until a successor is appointed. This will be the Board’s immediate priority.
The Board would like to thank both Alex and David for all of their efforts on behalf of the Club and wish them all the best for the future.
St Mirren FC will be making no further comment at this time.

Interview: Darren Whyte

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With ten minutes of today’s game against Dumbarton left, 19-year-old Darren Whyte came on for his first team debut.
The youngster couldn’t hide his delight on making his debut. He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve been working really hard for it so it is great that it has finally came.
“A mixture of both [nerves and excitement] to be fair with adrenalin but it is great to finally make it.
“It’s there for everybody if they really work hard for it so I just need to try and kick on from here.”
Darren felt he did fine in his short outing and he appreciates the help he gets from the manager and the senior players in his development as a player.
He said: “I felt I done okay. Obviously it was a bit hard for my first game with the levels coming up from the under-20s but it was excellent and I’m sure I’ll get used to it and get there the more I play.
“It [playing first team football] is much more intense and physical as well but I’m obviously delighted.
“Alex Rae is great to work with. Even with the likes of Andy Webster it is excellent to have them at the under-20s games to help you out.”
The youngster didn’t hide his targets for the rest of the season. He said: “More game time and to kick on from here.”

Post Match Quotes – Alex Rae (17/09/2016)

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St Mirren came back from a goal down against Dumbarton this afternoon to earn a share of the points in a 1-1 draw at The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. Alex Rae gave his thoughts post-match.
He said: “We passed up numerous chances today which was the most frustrating thing for us, but on a pleasing point of view we actually created three of four very good chances in the first half and obviously we had a couple in the second half that were gilt-edged. So we’re disappointed from that point of view but it was a spirited performance by the boys.
“We need to look for all the positives. The one thing for me is that we actually created very good chances today, unfortunately we just didn’t have the composure to bury them and get that win that we are desperate for.”
Saints are now six games into the league season without a win and the manager is aware of the importance of getting it on the board as soon as possible.
He said: “The longer it goes on the more difficult it becomes and people get frustrated but we’re all in this together. If we are divided we won’t conquer anything so it’s a case of everyone sticking together and trying to get over this difficult period.
“We obviously want to try and get that win to try and kick up the table and progress but we just need to keep going and be positive and that is what we will do.”
Under-20 player Darren Whyte made his first team debut coming on as a substitute late in the second half and Calum Gallagher made his return from injury as a substitute.
Tha manager said: “Darren is a committed character and we wanted to pick up some more second balls in the middle of the park and try and keep Dumbarton on the back foot, and he managed to do that.
“The thing is with Calum he has only trained four or five days since he has been out from the Raith Rovers game so he has not really played a lot of minutes but we just had to try and change it up a little bit and try and get a bit of impetus going forward. It was difficult for him because he obviously hasn’t had a lot of games.”
A few eyebrows were raised yesterday when it was confirmed that Ben Gordon has gone to Alloa Athletic on an emergency loan. Alex explains his reasons for letting the central defender go out on loan to the League One side.
He said: “We need to free up some funds to try and mix things up. There have been one or two people bemused by it but we have actually got more centre-halfs so it was easy to make that up and we may well look at maybe letting someone else go out on loan as we have spent our budget so need to maybe try and be creative exactly like we did last January when we let [Mark] Ridgers go. So when we do that it is just about mixing up and trying to free up some money.
“We’ve been monitoring a boy for the last three or four weeks and unfortunately he got injured last week so we’ll obviously keep our eye on that but then it gives us an opportunity to maybe bring another player in.”

Ben Gordon Out On Loan

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It has been confirmed this afternoon that central defender Ben Gordon has gone out on loan to League One side Alloa Athletic until January.
Ben signed for St Mirren for the second time in his career this summer from Livingston and made his debut in the black and white stripes in last weekend’s Ladbrokes Championship match against Queen of the South.
The central defender will meet up with his new Alloa teammates tomorrow for the match against Queen’s Park.

Post Match Quotes – Alex Rae (10/09/2016)

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By Stuart Gillespie at the Paisley 2021 Stadium
Saints continue to wait for their first win of the league season after losing to Queen of the South. Manager Alex Rae gives his thoughts.
He said: “We’re obviously in a difficult place. We’re conceding goals with considerable ease at the moment and it’s not the young ones, it’s the senior ones who are causing the problems. Unfortunately we’re making it very difficult for ourselves. We equalised and we allow them to just waltz up the pitch unopposed and get a tap in. It’s extremely disappointing.
“We created a couple of chances in the first half where their keeper pulled off a couple of decent saves. We need to remain positive. When I was at Dundee, we started the season exactly the same the opening five games without a win and we finished third so we know we can turn it round.”
Today’s results means Saints are now bottom of the table and the fans made their displeasure known during and after the match. The manager added: “I can understand people’s frustration, I’m as frustrated as anyone. This has got nothing to do with tactics, this is purely down to individuals who, unfortunately, are crumbling under a bit of pressure.”

IRN-BRU Cup – 4th Round Draw

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After last Saturday’s win away to Albion Rovers in the IRN-BRU Cup, Saints were drawn an away tie this afternoon in the last sixteen of the tournament against fellow Ladbrokes Championship side Hibernian.
The 4th Round tie between Saints and The Hibees will be played on the weekend of 8th/9th October at Easter Road Stadium.
The full draw is as follows:
Bala Town v Alloa Athletic
Forfar Athletic v The New Saints
Crusaders v Livingston
Queen of the South v Linfield
Hibernian v St Mirren
Dunfermline Athletic v Queen’s Park
Ayr United v Falkirk
Stranraer v Dundee United

Post Match Quotes – Alex Rae (03/09/2016)

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By James Hunter at The Exsel Group Stadium
St Mirren manager Alex Rae was relieved to see his side make it to the last 16 of the IRN-BRU Cup this afternoon having fought back from a two goal deficit against Albion Rovers in Coatbridge.
He said after the match: “We’re just pleased to be in the next round. The positives are we have got Rocco [Quinn] some minutes and Gary [MacKenzie] some minutes and we had an opportunity to look at one or two things and we’ll assess over the next couple of days, when we watch the footage again, what we can take from it.”
Saints found themselves behind early and the manager is looking for better from his players. He said: “The fact of the matter is if you defend like that it leaves a lot to be desired. We need to do so much better. I’m not wanting to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes, it is nowhere near what we are looking for.
“It [the return of Quinn and MacKenzie making his debut] gives us options as obviously we are a wee bit short on the ground but we need to dig in because we are playing through a patch just now that is becoming difficult.”
Under-20 player Andrew McDonald had his first outing as a first team player. Alex said of McDonald: “We wanted to have a look at him as he done well through the week with the reserves [under-20 side] and it gave us an opportunity to see him.”
With the game going to extra-time it was a long debut outing for MacKenzie who also played through the week.
Alex said: “He played 75 minutes in the reserves the other day, we thought we may well have got it done by 90 minutes but obviously had to play another 30 which wasn’t ideal because it runs the risk of injury but it’s in the bank now and so that is a positive.”

Alex Rae: Injuries Update

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By James Hunter
Alex Rae is hoping to have more depth in his squad ahead of Saturday’s game against Ayr United in the Ladbrokes Championship. The Saints head to Ayr searching for their first league win of the season and the manager’s options have been boosted with the return of injured players to training this week while some have gotten valuable game time under their belts.
Gary MacKenzie, Ben Gordon and Jordan Stewart all featured for the Under-20s as they defeated Rangers Under-20s 1-0 on Tuesday night, with Stewart scoring the only goal with a stunning free kick just after the hour mark.
Speaking to saintmirren.net the manager said: “It’s important that we get Gary up to speed – he needs some minutes under his belt. He’s been working the last couple of weeks to try and get to this stage. We have young Jordan going to get some minutes and Ben Gordon as well, so we’re hopeful of getting these guys back sooner rather than later.”
The Saints were dealt a blow on Saturday in the loss to Hibernian when Lewis Morgan limped off at half time. The winger arrived for the team photo on Tuesday in crutches but the manager isn’t too worried about where he is at: “I think he’s a lot more freed up than he was in the previous 24 hours.
“He’s able to put a bit more weight on it and we’ll just assess it over the next couple of days,” he said. “Gavin [the physio] has got him in tomorrow just to see if it’s any better and we’re hoping that it’s progressing the way it has done in the last couple of days.
“It’s not ideal,” he continued. “The good thing about it is that he’s a brave kid, he’s physically strong and we’re hoping the pain alleviates itself over the next couple of days.”
There was encouraging news from the St Mirren Training Complex this week as Rocco Quinn returned to training following his injury against Livingston in the Betfred Cup last month. The midfielder was stretchered off near the end of the 3-2 win and the manager is taking it one step at a time with his return.
“This was his first day today. He was charging about in training – blowing out his backside – but it’s good to see him back out there. It’s just a case of Rocco getting more and more confident as the days go by because it was obviously a bad injury. He stepped up again today and we’re hopeful that come tomorrow he’ll be able to go again.”
When asked if he would be in line to make his first team return against Ayr United on Saturday, the gaffer said: “It’ll probably be too soon. We don’t want to rush him back and he has a relapse, so it’s important that we monitor how he is progressing and we’ll get the minutes in over the couple of days leading to the weekend but I think the weekend is definitely too soon.“
The manager admitted it was important to get players back from injury as soon as they are ready, to help give the team the opportunity to mix things up. He said: “We were conscious of the fact that we were going to go with a smaller squad this season because we wanted to try and get some better quality in and we’re hopeful that we can kick on.
“We need everyone up front and centre so that we have options to change things about because we’re a bit limited at the moment in terms of who we can bring on from the bench and the quicker we get these senior players up-to-speed the better it will be for us.”

Alex Rae: Pre-Match Thoughts

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By James Hunter
Alex Rae admitted that his players know that they’ll be in for a tough game on Saturday, as Hibernian come to the Paisley 2021 Stadium in the Ladbrokes Championship. Speaking to saintmirren.net about the game and the draw for the IRN-BRU Cup, which was made this afternoon, the manager said: “We’re under no illusions.
“They’ve just signed a player from the English Championship, they’re the Scottish Cup holders, they have a decent sized squad of players to choose from, so we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a difficult game for us – but by the same token we need to go in on a positive manner.”
Saints will be without Rocco Quinn and Calum Gallagher for the visit from Hibernian and the manager gave an update on both players. On Rocco Quinn, he said: “We’re trying to push him on and just keep checking his symptoms to make sure he’s not going back the way so that we can continue to push him on and get him up to speed sooner rather than later.”
Calum Gallagher was substituted early in the first half against Raith Rovers last Saturday after picking up a knock and the manager says that the winger will miss the game against Hibs: “Calum knocked his ankle so unfortunately he won’t make this weekend.”
The team has been boosted by the news that summer signings Gary MacKenzie and Ben Gordon are back in training. Alex said: “Big Gary has full training under his belt and Ben is back training as well. It’s just trying to get minutes in their legs from a game point of view.
He continued: “You can’t legislate for injuries. It’s obviously disappointing as we’ve also had Rocco and Gal injured as well so it’s not been an ideal start from that point of view. We just need to get these boys back up to speed and that will give us options.”
The IRN-BRU Cup third round draw was made earlier this afternoon and sees Saints face a trip to Coatbridge to face Albion Rovers. League One Rovers went to penalties in three of their four Betfred Cup games at the start of the season and Alex is looking forward to the test they will pose. He said: “We have to try and win every game that we go into and it’ll be a good task for us. They were taking the opposition to the wire so we’ll need to be on the front foot.”
There has been speculation about the future of midfielder Stephen Mallan and the manager admitted that, while there has been contact, the club want to keep a hold of the player. He said: “An enquiry was made but we aren’t interested in selling. We are trying to build something here.”

IRN-BRU Cup, 3rd Round Draw

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At this afternoon’s 3rd Round draw for the IRN-BRU Cup, St Mirren were drawn to play League One side Albion Rovers
The match is scheduled to take place at Cliftonhill Stadium on the weekend of 3rd/4th September.
The full 3rd Round draw is as follows:
North Section
Alloa Athletic v East Fife
Brechin City v Dunfermline Athletic
Dundee United v Peterhead
Turriff United v Hibernian
Falkirk v Elgin City
Forfar Athletic v Raith Rovers
South Section
Queen of the South v Stenhousemuir
Stranraer v Dumbarton
Livingston v Celtic Colts
Albion Rovers v St Mirren
Ayr United v Airdrieonians
Queen’s Park v Morton