St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson says Alex Greive has earned his forgiveness for a late return from international duty with a crucial winning goal over Livingston.
Greive came off the bench to score a dramatic 90th minute winner as St Mirren netted three points despite being down to ten men after the sending off of Jonah Ayunga.
In the build-up to the match, Robinson had expressed his frustration that Greive had not returned from playing for New Zealand until Friday, even though Australia internationals Ryan Strain and Keane Baccus were back in Scotland two days earlier after playing in the same game.
The 23-year-old’s crucial goal, which fired St Mirren up to third in the table, went a good way to making things up to his manager.
“Credit to Alex Greive,” Robinson said. “I gave him a little bit of stick when he came back, but it’s not quite a trip back from Belfast I suppose, it was from Auckland.
“He was coming from a long way away. (Why it took so long) is a question I haven’t had answered yet. New Zealand are probably a smaller association than the Australian boys.
“They came back Tuesday to train Wednesday, Alex wasn’t back until Friday. We’ll obviously look at the travel arrangements for the boys a lot more closely next time.
“But it was certainly the way to answer my question. He repaid us with a goal and he’s a very humble boy.
“He’s so committed to St Mirren and actually did all his prep on the plane home, watching the videos we’d sent him. He’s got his rewards. He’s a great boy with masses of enthusiasm, so we’ll forgive him.”
A trip to Ibrox is next for St Mirren and Robinson hopes both Curtis Main and Ryan Strain are available for selection. Main missed the Livingston game with a knock, while Strain lasted just six minutes after coming off the bench.
“I didn’t feel Ryan Strain was right so it was probably the right call not to start him and Curtis Main, both were touch and go,” Robinson said.
“We just have to assess him (Strain). He came back with a groin strain. We’ll play it by ear and hopefully he isn’t too bad and we’ll have him back for next week.”