SAINTS striker Cody Cooke is hoping to “hit the ground running” when Scottish football returns from its winter break.

It has been a frustrating season for the 26-year-old Englishman so far, with a serious knee injury leaving him sidelined for much of the action.

However, Cooke made regular substitute appearances in recent weeks, including in the 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock over Christmas, and has headed home to Cornwall to recharge his batteries.

He said: “I’m a long way from my home in Cornwall. It’ll be nice to spend some time with friends and the family and then hit the ground running again after the break.

“The key message before the Kilmarnock game was that we wanted to go into the winter break on the back of a win. We needed to finish this side of the season positively because it makes these few weeks off even more enjoyable.

“It was a really good win and performance all round and good for myself to get some more minutes under my belt.

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“Last year, we lost and had three weeks to stew on it. You go away thinking about ‘what ifs’ and it can certainly affect you mentally.

“The win against Killie puts us all in a good place and we know we can get better and stronger as the season goes on now.

“We’re a better team than we were in spells at the start of the season.”

Cooke admits it won’t be easy to force his way into the starting line-up after the winter break, with fellow strikers Jon Obika, Junior Morias and Danny Mullen also keen to play.

St Mirren could be looking to bring in a couple of fresh faces during the transfer window.

However, boss Jim Goodwin, has indicated in the past that up front is not an area where he is in a rush to strengthen this month.

And that’s music to Cooke’s ears as he battles for a starting spot with his fellow attackers.

“We’ve got real good competition for places,” he said. “Jon Obika has got the shirt at the moment and he knows there’s people really pushing him hard to keep his place, including myself.

“We’ve got Danny as well who didn’t get on against Killie. We’ve got a really strong forward line and it would surprise me if he was to add to that number. The only way I could see things changing is if somebody moved out but that’s not the case. The manager hasn’t mentioned that to me or any of the others and I can see why because we’ve got good competition.”

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