Boss Stubbs pleased with St Mirren fitness after shoot-out win

Alan Stubbs was pleased with the response of his players as St Mirren got their season up and running with a penalty shoot-out win over Kilmarnock.

The Buddies triumphed over Killie at Rugby Park 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in normal time as the Betfred Cup got under way.

The visitors claimed the bonus point win despite not having played a proper warm-up game in pre-season after their friendly against Bolton was cancelled. Their players coped well and were the better side in the 90 minutes.

“In terms of the overall game I thought we looked quite fit, which was good,” said Stubbs. “It doesn’t surprise me in terms of effort that the players put in, and the performance was an added bonus.

“We weren’t too sure because this is our first competitive game, but coming away and managing to get the bonus point is good, but I would be more happy if we had three.”

Stubbs handed debuts to six players including Cole Kpekawa who signed earlier on Friday, with Hayden Coulson in particular impressing at left-back.

Despite the performance, Stubbs has his sights set on adding to his squad before the end of the transfer window.

He said: “I am hoping potentially we will need at least another four, maybe five.

“I would like to bring a striker in and another midfielder, a couple of wide players. We will see, hopefully we will be busy.”

Steve Clarke saw Lee Erwin, Gary Dicker and Kirk Broadfoot miss from the spot in a poor shoot-out, but he was unconcerned with the loss.

“We are still a long way away from the start of the SPL (Scottish Premier League), which is our main target to be physically ready for,” he said. “We lost the penalty shoot-out and made the group a little bit more difficult.

“We need to make sure we win the next three games to get ourselves 10 points which should be enough to take us through to the next round.”

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