St Mirren manager Danny Lennon paid tribute to Lee Mair after the defender impressed in his first game of the season in last night’s 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.
Mair had been told he was free to find a new club over the summer but did not find a move away from Paisley before the August deadline.
He has been forced to bide his time on the sidelines until given the chance to force his way back into Lennon’s plans and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Lennon said: “Lee Mair was outstanding and it speaks volumes for him to come back in from being right out of the picture.
“I’m delighted for him and his family after what has been a challenging time for them.
“Maybe the boys who came in didn’t feel the pressure because they hadn’t been involved in the losing streak.”
Saints headed into the match still seeking their first league win of the season and must have thought the long wait was finally over when Steven Thompson fired them into the lead. Aberdeen’s Peter Pawlett had other ideas, though, and he struck with just five minutes to go to secure a share of the points for the visitors.
The result took St Mirren nine points clear of Hearts ahead of the match between the two sides on Saturday at Tynecastle.
Lennon added: “It’s a small step for us, that’s all it is. There is still a long way for us to go. But if we continue to give that application, not just on match-days but on a daily basis, then we’ll do well.
“I’m a big believer that if you’re faithful to the small things you’ll be rewarded in the big things.”
Aberdeen extended their unbeaten run to six games despite boss Derek McInnes admitting they were not at their best.
He said: “The mistake that I’ve made is that the system didn’t really suit us in the first half. “Equally, I think the players are better than what they showed. We are delighted to still pick up a point on the road while not being at our best.”