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St Mirren facing injury crises up front after Cody Cooke injury

St Mirren facing injury crises up front after Cody Cooke injury
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Cooke faces up to nine months on the sidelines.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin insists he is not cursing his luck despite seeing striker Cody Cooke suffer a potentially season-ending injury.

The former Buddies captain, who returned to Paisley to take over as boss this summer, has been frustrated in his attempts to bolster his paper-thin squad and paid the price for that lack of new arrivals as his side crashed out of the Betfred Cup at the group stage.

Goodwin has recruited wideman Ilkay Durmus and midfielder Sam Foley over the past 24 hours, with young Irish defender Sean McLoughlin set to follow on loan from Hull.

But scans to Cooke's knee injury show the ligament damage he suffered against Albion Rovers is worse than first feared and he will now sit out up to nine months of action.

That means Goodwin only has one recognised striker in the shape of Danny Mullen as his side prepare for Saturday's Ladbrokes Premiership opener away to Hibernian.

But the Irishman – who was only appointed as Oran Kearney's successor two weeks before Saints' first League Cup clash with Dunfermline – said: "I don't think I've had terrible luck to be honest.

"Of course the Betfred could have went better but we just haven't been able to score enough goals.

I look at it as a missed opportunity. Ideally I'd have been in two or three weeks earlier and that would have bought us some more time to put the group together, which should have allowed us to get out of the group.

"These things happen and it just emphasised the need for players. However, I've got great confidence in the boys here. It's not doom and gloom and there is no need for anyone to stress."

Goodwin's squad is starting to take shape but he he is still short of his desired number.

Foley, 32, has experience of playing for the likes of Port Vale, Yeovil and Newport while Goodwin is glad to have got his hands on McLoughlin on loan after Hull beat the Buddies to land the centre-back on a permanent deal from Cork City.

"It's been well-documented how short on numbers we've been so we've gladly added some much-needed quality to the group," said Goodwin.

"Sam gives us good experience having played at a really good level down in England. We're delighted to have added him to the group with Ilkay and we're now waiting on the paper work for Sean McLoughlin to go through.

"I'll keep asking (for more players) until the board tell me there's no money left. We probably need another three ideally.

"Left-back is a problem area for us and we're light in the forward areas – there's no getting away from that.

"Cody's unfortunately picked up a really bad injury last week so we're going to Easter Road at this moment with one recognised striker.

"He's ruptured ligaments so it's quite a serious one. We're looking at surgery and then probably six to nine months rehab. We're all disappointed for him as he's a great boy."

Hibs have signed eight new players this summer and Goodwin admits he is jealous of the numbers Paul Heckingbottom has to work with.

He said: "I read some of Paul's comments this week where he said he had two players for every position – that must be a hell of a luxury."


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Paul Heckingbottom in charge of Leeds United on April 13, 2018
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