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Evening Times

Saints boss Dan rules out swoop for Bairns striker

Evening Times:

Reported by Bert Mitchell

Sports Writer

Published / News

ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon has dismissed suggestions that he is after out-of-contract Falkirk hitman Farid El Alagui.

The 27-year-old smashed home an impressive 27-goal return for the Bairns in Division One in the season just ended.

With Dutch striker Nigel Hasselbaink having knocked back a new deal at Greenhill Road, Saints are now down a striker and Lennon has admitted a frontline recruitment drive is his priority.

But Moroccan striker El Alagui, who is reportedly interesting Aberdeen and Sheffield United, is not on Lennon's radar.

The Saints boss said: "No, there is nothing there. Obviously my intention was to add another striker before Nigel moved on and that is still the case. But we will not be rushing in.

"There are plenty of available players out there and what we have to make sure is that whoever comes in improves what we already have here and fits in with the club ethos.

"But we know that at times last season we asked a lot of Steven Thompson and we know we need to make some kind of addition up top. But we are already looking at things and I'm sure we will make good progress.

"Ideally, you want to have four strikers to cover for the demands of the season."

Lennon has also revealed that highly-rated midfield starlet Mark Lamont will go back out on loan to Dumbarton for a second loan stint with the Sons.

The 19-year-old made his first-team debut when he came on as a substitute in an SPL match at Kilmarnock on February 26, 2011.

The Buddies manager said: "Mark will benefit from another loan spell with Dumbarton – this time in the First Division. He will get regular game time at a higher level and that should aid his develop-ment. But he is very much one for the future."

Meanwhile, Buddies star Paul McGowan has admitted the Scottish Cup final between Hearts and Hibs made hard viewing.

The Buddies lost out to eventual winners Hearts in the quarter-final after leading the Jambos in the first tie at Tynecastle and then having a goal controversially disallowed in the replay at Greenhill Road before Paulo Sergio's side triumphed 2-0.

The Saints ace groaned: "We should have been at Hampden in one of the cup competitions. Obviously losing at home to Ayr in the quarter-final of the Communities Cup was tough but we had our chances against Hearts in the Scottish Cup at the last eight stage as well."

lHearts have released strikers Stephen Elliott and Gary Glen – but insist they want boss Paulo Sergio to stay.

Managing director David Southern said efforts would be made to keep the former Sporting Lisbon manager at Tynecastle for a second season.

Southern said: "The club want to keep Paulo. We hope he chooses to stay as the manager and we'll find out in hopefully not too long a period."

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