St Mirren: Jim Goodwin looking to lead Saints higher up league

Jim Goodwin says St Mirren will fear no-one in the top flight next season.

The Buddies captain is eager for his side to better than their 11th-place finish from the 2012-13 campaign.

"I'm not going to say we're going to finish second," Goodwin said. "And I'm not even going to make a prediction that we'll make the top six, but we certainly don't fear anyone.

"We're hoping to hit the ground running against Inverness and we'll see where it takes us."

Lifting the Scottish Communities League Cup in March highlighted an otherwise indifferent season for the Paisley side.

But Goodwin, believes good work has been done over the summer to ensure Saints fare better in the league in 2013-14.

On yer bike!

"I get ripped to shreds every time we talk about bicycles. That's my best friend at the moment. The last 10 days during pre-season, especially when the weather's nice, I'll cycle from where I stay to Ralston training ground and back. It's great; out in the fresh air and much better than being couped up in a car."

Jim Goodwin

"We are very, very optimistic," he said. "We're extremely realistic as well.

"We know 11th position last year wasn't acceptable and we need to build on that.

"But we've managed to keep hold of key players - the likes of Paul McGowan. We've added Gary Harkins.

"If big Thommo [Steven Thompson] scores goals again like he has the last couple of years and we get one or two others to chip in around him, then we're extremely confident.

"If you take Celtic out of the equation, there's not a lot between the rest of the teams."

And Goodwin, who can play in either defence or midfield, insists he does not mind where manager Danny Lennon deploys him.

"I thoroughly enjoy playing both positions but when I started as a young boy I was a defender," he explained.

"I went to Celtic as a defender and I went down south as a centre-half. But I've always had that 'utility player' tag; I've played right-back, holding midfielder and box-to-box midfielder.

"As a footballer you just want to be in the team and if the manager decides that's in midfield or centre-half then so be it.

"I've enjoyed myself at centre-back and I think myself and Marc McAusland built up a great understanding and a good partnership together."