Cowdenbeath v Saints preview
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Monday, 18th July 2011
After playing like Brazil on Saturday, we take on the Blue Brazil tomorrow night when we face Cowdenbeath in our final friendly of the summer.
Our summer results go some way to proving that pre-season means absolutely nothing. yes, we produced great football against Morton and Dumbarton, but we also lost to Ayr and drew with Queen's Park. Does that mean we'll be awesome or awful when things start for real a week today? I have no idea, and anyone who does is lying. Tomorrow night's game won't change that either - although as Cowdenbeath have already beaten Hearts and Dundee United we need to watch ourselves.
This could be seen as a bit of a grudge match in some quarters, even though it's a friendly. Just over a year ago we nicked Danny Lennon from Cowdenbeath and he promptly brought Iain Jenkins, Darren McGregor, Paul McQuade, Gareth Wardlaw and Peter Bradley with him. Lennon, McGregor and McQuade are still here, which could result in a few meaty challenges and interesting chants from the crowd. This game was originally meant to be played last year, so hopefully things will be a wee bit calmer than if it had gone ahead 12 months ago!
With this being our final friendly of the summer, it is likely to be used as a fitness exercise for those players who are still lacking in match practice. As a result, Graham Carey is likely to start as he is close to resembling a beachball at present, while Steven Thompson could also make an appearance as he claims he isn't fully fit. The likes of Carey, McQuade and David Barron started Saturday's game on the bench so are probably going to be put in from the start. Hugh Murray and Aaron Mooy are still out injured.
Cowdenbeath are a bit like a rollercoaster that broke at M&Ds the other week, in that they have gone pretty much as high as they are likely to go, but are only half way back down. Lennon oversaw two successive promotions before he jumped to Paisley, but replacement Jimmy Nicholl was unable to keep them in the first division last season. The fact they didn't finish bottom was a fine feat in the circumstances, but they now find themselves with another new manager in the shape of Colin Cameron. Like Lennon, he's taking his first steps in management but will also be playing this season.
After what happened last summer, Lennon was expected to return to Central Park and nick even more of their players this time around. Fortunately for the Blue Brazil, that hasn't happened. As a result, they still have defenders John Armstrong and Joe Mbu, who have been linked with us on a number of occasions during the last 12 months. Many Cowdenbeath fans claim Armstrong is a better defender than McGregor so it's a surprise that we haven't gone in for him or someone else hasn't taken a chance on him.
Last time we played Cowdenbeath on a midweek night no less a man than Campbell Money opened the scoring. What will happen this time?
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