Dundee v St Mirren reaction
Lennon mentioned Scottish legends Graeme Souness and Kenny
Dalglish when discussing McLean’s potential.
McLean’s 35-yard strike six minutes from the interval in
Saturday’s SPL clash at Dens Park, which gave Dees keeper Rab
Douglas no chance, was fit on its own to win any game, although
striker Sam Parkin clinched the points when he grabbed a second
after the break.
Afterwards, Lennon predicted great things for his Scotland
Under-21 player in the future, although he is glad to have him at
the Paisley club in the meantime.
“It was a wonderful goal and he has got that in his locker,”
said the Buddies boss. “The ball was still rising when it hit the
back of the net.
“Maybe this season we will unleash a new Souness or Dalglish and
I certainly think McLean has the ability to do that.
“There will be a little bit of help from myself and the staff,
but he certainly has the tools to do it.
“He is going into his second full season and he has two years of
his contract still to go.
“He has a lot of development still in him and we think he is in
the correct environment.
“Kenny McLean has all to the tools to be a top player, wherever
Lennon believes McLean, 20, should be pushing for a place in
Craig Levein’s plans for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers even
though he was left out of Billy Stark’s under-21 squad for this
month’s challenge match against Belgium.
Lennon said: “First and foremost he has to get into Billy
Stark’s under-21 squad and Billy didn’t think he was quite
“But he certainly has it in his locker, I see his
professionalism and ability on a daily basis.”
McLean appeared taken aback when told that his manager was
talking about him in the same breath as Souness and Dalglish, but
pledged his immediate future to the Saints.
“I don’t know how to take that,” he said. “There is a lot to
live up to there but hopefully I will keep getting better.
“The manager has given me a platform so hopefully there is
better to come.
“I am enjoying my football here so it (moving south) is not
something I am looking for in the immediate future.
“I am delighted with the way things are going, working under the
gaffer and Tommy Craig is brilliant so hopefully I will keep
“A year or two down the line we will see what happens, but I
just want to do well here.”
McLean was similarly modest when asked about his goal.
“I don’t think there will be another one like that this season,”
“But it’s always good to get a goal like that. It was something
I was thinking about but as soon as I got the ball I knew what I
“I didn’t realise how far out I was to be honest but I am not
going to catch it any better than that.”
McLean was involved in one moment of controversy when Dundee
claimed for a penalty following his challenge on Mark Stewart
inside the box, seconds before Parkin scored the clincher.
The Paisley player said: “I clearly got the ball.”
Lennon added: “In my opinion, the referee got that bang on.”
Dundee boss Barry Smith did not make too much of the penalty
claim, saying: “We are obviously going to claim the penalty but the
referee has a decision to make and that’s the end of it.”
Smith added: “They scored with a great strike but I thought we
were on top of the game when they got the second.
“But at this level we can’t switch off and that was the problem,
we switched off and allowed them to break and get the second