Lennon: Relaxation is vital

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon has left no stone unturned ahead of the League Cup final with Hearts.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 18:00 Post Comment

Danny Lennon: Has worked closely with his players

Danny Lennon: Has worked closely with his players

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St Mirren manager Danny Lennon relished the opportunity to get into his players' minds ahead of their Scottish Communities League Cup final against Hearts.

Lennon took his players to St Andrews for the early part of the week to train and prepare for the Hampden clash.

And he used the extended time with his players to give some individual pep talks ahead of the club's second League Cup final in three years.

Lennon also put his tactics across and showed the players footage of the celebrations when St Mirren won the 1987 Scottish Cup in a bid to inspire his players to glory.

The former Cowdenbeath manager said: "It's been a great week, we have really enjoyed the preparation and the build-up; getting away for a few days, the relaxation and the quality time we spent with the players and going over tactical strengths and weaknesses and how the game plan is going to hopefully pan out on Sunday.

"But more importantly the players got away and got a little bit of quality time to themselves.

"That went well and it has also been good for myself that I can pull one or two of them aside and have a wee five or 10-minute chat.

"Sometimes that's difficult unless you grab them first thing in the morning or get them immediately after the training ground. Sometimes after lunch they have other agendas themselves.

"It was just great in the fact we were in beautiful surroundings and in a relaxed atmosphere.

"It was certainly different the way we have done it. Most clubs would probably go away together at the end of the week.

"But we felt that it would give us an upper hand to get into the players' minds from the early part of the week so we could pick that momentum up and at the tail end of the week we let the players get back to normality, spend it with their loved ones and get a night's sleep in their own beds - and raring to go on Sunday."

Only Lee Mair, David Barron and Graham Carey remain at St Mirren Park from the squad that lost 1-0 to nine-man Rangers in the 2010 final but Lennon is confident his players will handle the occasion, having seen them knock out Celtic in the last four.

He said: "You never know how they are going to be on the day but the experience they had in the semi-final will help.

"We know it's going to be a bigger crowd and there will be an absolutely terrific atmosphere.

"A lot of players throughout their career will not get to a final at all. For some of our players this might be their only cup final, for other ones it may be the start of many for them.

"My message come Sunday will be to make sure they make it an occasion that lives long in their memory for the rest of their lives and don't waste this opportunity."

Lennon added: "We have certainly earned the right to be here. A lot of people didn't expect us to go and beat Aberdeen up at Pittodrie.

"Everyone wrote us off in the semi-final against Celtic but we brought our true qualities out on that day.

"But that doesn't give us any right to lift the cup on Sunday.

"The team that earns the right to lift the cup on Sunday will be the team that works the hardest and brings out their true qualities on the day.

"The true strength of these players is when they believe in themselves and believe in one another, when they work together and bring out their key strengths.

"When they do that, we are more than a match for anyone."


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