Alan Power has hailed St Mirren team-mate Connor Ronan’s “full-deserved” first Republic of Ireland call-up.
On-loan Wolves midfielder Ronan has been named in Stephen Kenny’s squad for friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania after hitting five goals in his last nine matches.
The 24-year-old sealed his call-up after netting a spectacular long-range effort in Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat by Hearts, leaving Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon motionless as he fired his eighth goal of the season from a difficult angle.
“He’s been brilliant,” Dublin-born Power said. “He’s a fantastic player. I think everyone just looks at his goals, but the stuff he does off the ball and his work-rate is something that probably people in this team would notice more so than those on the outside.
“He deserves everything that comes his way. He has got into the Ireland squad and it’s fully deserved from his performances.
“He has done everything to get into that squad. His performances have been brilliant, his goals have been fantastic and hopefully he can still push us along as well and get us into the top six.”
Ronan is the second St Mirren player to make Kenny’s squad over the past 12 months, following in the footsteps of Jamie McGrath, who has dropped out of the pool following his move to Wigan.
On-loan Wigan midfielder Jordan Jones could also have been called up for Northern Ireland if he had not been suffering from a shoulder injury.
Power said: “There are quite a few getting international recognition. Alex Greive went away with New Zealand as well. I think Matt Millar was close, if his injury healed up, to go with Australia as well.
“So it’s brilliant for St Mirren to have all these boys getting internationally known. It just shows the club is doing something right.”
Power was speaking ahead of another big game in the race for top-six places in the cinch Premiership.
Saints host a Dundee United team who have the same 36-point total as the Buddies, with both clubs just outside the top half as seven teams jostle for three remaining spots before the split.
Power feels St Mirren have adjusted to life now under Stephen Robinson following Jim Goodwin’s sudden departure to Aberdeen.
“The gaffer has his own spin on things as well which we had to read into and learn and I think in the past couple of games that has come through,” the former Kilmarnock midfielder said.
“The last couple of performances I think have been better. So there’s a lot of positives and we will take them in to Saturday.
“Quietly, it’s quite a massive game. I don’t want to speak about it too much, but this one is pretty big on Saturday. It could determine a lot.
“For both teams it’s a big game and it should make for a good one.”
Robinson stated this week that players were playing for their futures, with the top-six outcome possibly proving pivotal.
Power said of his contract situation: “I’m up in the summer. I am yet to have any conversation really. But I’m happy with that.
“I am enjoying just playing my football at the minute. That will look after itself at the end of the season.”