Goodwin: We can be best of rest

  • Last Updated: August 17 2012, 16:15 BST

St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin has stuck his neck out by claiming the Buddies are realistic candidates to finish second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this season.

Jim Goodwin: 'Aspiring for second, third or fourth'

The Paisley side are top of the table at the moment with four points from two games but Goodwin fully expects his former team Celtic to retain their title.

However, with Rangers in the Irn-Bru Third Division this season, the Irishman can see no reason why St Mirren cannot be the best of the rest.

Goodwin, 30, who returns from suspension for the home SPL clash with Hibernian on Saturday, said: "Obviously Celtic are favourites and in my opinion will go on and win the league, there's no doubt about it.

"But I don't see why - and I hope I don't get shot down for saying it - we shouldn't be aspiring for second, third or fourth in the league.

"Look at the teams who were up there last year - Motherwell, Dundee United and St Johnstone. I think Dundee United will be up there again this season but I don't see why we can't look up that way.

"The likes of Hearts have lost a lot of influential players, Hibs are in a transitional period, Motherwell have lost one or two, they have all lost key figures while I think we have strengthened.

"We lost one or two in the summer but no disrespect to them, the boys who have replaced them are better.

"The players we have added in the summer like Sam Parkin and Lewis Guy means we have goals in the team.

"Last season we were defensively strong with 16 clean sheets so if we could add goals to our game I have no doubt that we will be there or thereabouts.

"I think we are in a much healthier position now than we were at the end of last season."

Goodwin is "delighted to be back" after missing the first two games of the season.

The former Hamilton midfielder urged the Buddies fans to turn up get behind their side against Hibs.

"I just hope the ones that were here last year can maybe find a friend or relative and bring them along because their support is huge for us," he said.

"They bought into what we tried to do, we made mistakes along the way but they were very positive and encouraged us.

"We want to get up to that 5,000 mark regularly. The club needs that at this moment in time."