ST MIRREN captain Stephen McGinn says it’s been a whirlwind year since his return to Saints.

The skipper was named as the Player of the Month for the Championship last week, with the Buddies now 14 points clear at the top of the table.

It’s a stark contrast from when he put pen to paper to seal his return from Wycombe to Scotland last January, when Saints were bottom of the league.

And going straight from surviving relegation to charging towards promotion, McGinn admitted he’d barely had any time to sit back and take it all in.

He said: “It has been an amazing 12 months. But it has been really strange too, because there hasn’t really been any time to enjoy it.

“As much as it was brilliant to stay up last year, all of a sudden you were looking ahead to achieving something this year.

“This time last year we had just been to Dumbarton and drawn 2-2 and still had a massive game at Somerset Park to come. It is the sort of stuff you couldn’t have made up, and if you were asked to dream about a scenario then it would have been this.

“It will be amazing to look back on it in a few years time if we can get over the line this year.

“But you respect that teams have got games in hand and we have still got to play everyone in the league.

“You don’t want to dip, and I’ve been in the game long enough to know that once you get in a rut it can be hard to get out of it.

“We just need to keep doing what we are doing and be as clinical as we are at the minute.”

St Mirren had a week’s break after being knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Aberdeen, and return to action at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday when they take on Livingston.

The Buddies will be looking to extend their unbeaten league run which stretches back to December 2 when they were beaten by Dumbarton against an in-form Livi.

David Hopkin’s side leapfrogged Dundee United to move into second, after picking up 10 points from 12 in their last four games.

And the captain hopes they can keep the feel good factor going at Saints.

McGinn added: “We had a really tough afternoon at home to Dumbarton at the start of December and ever since then we have just not looked back.

“We have really taken off and made it hard for the teams below us to keep up, so we are just delighted with the way everything is going at the minute.”

The two sides have already met three times this season.

Livingston won the first encounter back in July, when they played each other in the League Cup.

But after that Saints have had two 3-1 wins in the Championship.