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Kilmarnock vs St Mirren: Match reaction

Paatelainen: More to come from Eremenko

Kilmarnock vs St Mirren: Match reaction
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Kilmarnock manager Mixu Paatelainen hailed debutant Alexei Eremenko for making a rapid transition to the pace of Scottish football after the loan signing netted the winner against St Mirren.

The Finland midfielder's 56th-minute free-kick proved decisive in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Rugby Park, securing the three points for his compatriot Paatelainen.

"I'm delighted with Alexei. He played well and scored the winning goal so it was a fantastic debut for him," Paatelainen said of the 27-year-old, who has been signed on a season-long loan from Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv after having spent another loan stint in his homeland with FC Jaro.

"I think the supporters realise his skill on the ball, his awareness, and his passing ability. He can also score goals, I know that, so hopefully he can carry it on.

"I spoke to him about his fitness and told him the pace of the game here is much faster. He has played half a season in Finland on loan, where the pace is more continental.

"Any foreigner coming here after 20 minutes, they are gasping for air so it isn't easy for anyone, but he'll get more used to the tempo."

Paatelainen is optimistic that James Dayton's knee injury will not prove serious, the midfielder having been carried off in the second half after earlier opening the scoring.

He added: "It's too early to say about James's knee, but hopefully it's nothing too serious. He's another fantastic player who can produce goals.

"It wasn't the tackle - it was just an awkward situation. Hopefully it's nothing big, so fingers crossed.

"He's a very bright player with a good skill level. He's quick and we've been encouraging him to shoot more because he's been scoring goals like that on the training ground."

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon will review the video evidence before deciding on how to punish Paul McGowan for his 63rd-minute red card.

The on-loan Celtic forward was ordered off after an off-the-ball altercation with Kilmarnock's Manuel Pascali, and Lennon suspects the decision was the right one.

He said: "We got ourselves back into the game. It looked game on at 1-1, but wee McGowan then gives us an uphill battle. I cannot comment on the incident because I haven't seen it, but by all accounts he's thrown a punch.

"We then had to change things and we probably showed more fight with 10 men than 11, but couldn't get enough quality into the box.

"I'll have to see the incident. Until he's proven guilty I can't comment on whether he will be fined, but the officials have definitely seen something there.

"I'll look at the tape and we'll deal with that internally."

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