James Scott pumped up for St Mirren European adventure after long-awaited moment

James Scott is congratulated on his first St Mirren goal by Mikael Mandron
James Scott is congratulated on his first St Mirren goal by Mikael Mandron -Credit:SNS Group

James Scott is fired up for St Mirren’s European adventure after breaking his Buddies goal duck.

The 23-year-old forward netted the opener in Wednesday night’s 2-2 Premiership draw with Hearts at the SMiSA Stadium.

It was his first for the club since a January transfer window move from Exeter City – and it ended a seven-month goal drought given his last strike was in October.

Scott’s relief was obvious following the full-time whistle and he now feels ready to kick on in the black-and-white stripes with his loan move from the Grecians becoming permanent this summer.

“The goal has been a long time coming,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and the gaffer [Stephen Robinson] can see that in training but match fitness is totally different and you could see after half-an-hour that I was a wee bit gone.

“I’m happy to get my first goal. I had all my family here watching so it’s a great feeling.

“It is a relief because I was thinking to myself that I need a goal before the season finishes. It starts to play on you the longer you go without scoring but now I’m going into next season a lot more positive.

“More minutes is also perfect for me. I think the gaffer wants to play me but it comes down to fitness. When I came here, I was carrying a wee knock from Exeter. I’ve just been working hard.

“You need a pre-season. At Exeter, I had a full pre-season and I was flying. It helps massively but then you get a wee injury and it takes you right back to zero. The gaffer’s pre-seasons are so hard – I’m dreading it – but if I can get fitter, I’ll be a good help to St Mirren next season.”

Scott is looking forward to shining in the UEFA Conference League having missed out on Europe when he left Motherwell for Hull City in a £1.5 million deal.

He signed on in East Yorkshire in January 2020 with ‘Well’s Europa League campaign beginning eight months later.

Scott recalled: “If we had a video of the room with me, Alan Burrows [then general manager] and the gaffer [Robinson], you would have seen that I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay.

“But they were like, ‘no, you need to go’. It was get out and shut the door behind me! It was something that was good for my career as well. It didn’t go to plan but I’ve learned so much at such a young age and I’ve matured.”

Meanwhile, Buddies boss Robbo says St Mirren’s European mission has been almost four decades in the making.

The Northern Irishman heaped praise on the players and staff at the club who have made it happen after an incredible campaign.

“It’s for the whole club,” the manager insisted. “The playing staff have been terrific and deserve praise for their endeavours and quality all season but [there are] people behind the scenes who work really hard and strive to make this club better. We do it with small numbers – but we do it with quality.

“So, this achievement – which has been 37 years in the making – has been a real team effort and you see at the end with the crowd and the players there is a real togetherness.

“I like to stand back because there are a lot of people who don’t get the credit they deserve so it’s nice to see that acknowledged.”

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