International performances boosts St Mirren ahead of league return

The Saints had five players on international duty this week including two who played against England.

Stephen Robinson says having players take on the likes of Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Harry Kane on international duty has given the club a boost ahead of their return to Premiership action this weekend.

St Mirren travel to Dingwall to play Ross County on Saturday after a busy week for some of his squad with five all taking part for their country.

Connor McMeniman scored his first goal for Northern Ireland when they beat San Marino and Alex Gogic came up against Manchester City star Haaland for Cyprus.

Alex Grieve played for New Zealand with Keanu Baccus and Ryan Strain both starring for the Socceroos at Wembley against England.

Baccus was the only player in the Australia squad to play two full 90 minutes against Gareth Southgate’s side and New Zealand.

Speaking on Friday, Robinson says he has no complaints about the busy schedule as it raises the profile of the club and gives the players extra belief after performing well at the top level.

He said: “All the international boys returned fit and well, which is good, some had more game time than others, Keanu played two full 90 minutes in two friendlies which shows how important he is to the Australia manager as well.

“But they are all back and ready to go and we will train well today.

“It just shows the level of quality player we have at the football club, and I think it’s testament to the recruitment as well that we are able to bring these boys in.

“And it helps with future recruitment as well, because they are coming in and being recognised at international level while playing for St Mirren. And it shows they don’t have to be at some of the bigger clubs to be recognised, that’s been seen and credit to the international managers.

“It’s about raising the profile of the whole football club, attracting players can be difficult, we won’t change anybody’s life in terms of finances but we believe we can make players better.

“Keanu was the only player that played two 90 minutes for Australia, but that’s not a complaint from me, I think it’s a credit to his fitness levels and how important he is to them.

“Obviously as a club manager you can get worried as he is an important player for us as well, but all credit to him as he’s deserved it.

“He was excellent against England, to hear St Mirren mentioned that many times and both of our players, Ryan and Keanu, mentioned that many times it gives you a lot of pride. So I won’t be phoning any international manager telling them what to do as they are more than capable of making their own decisions.

“We also had Connor McMeniman, Alex Grieve and Gogic all playing, Gogic was playing against Haaland, so they all come back with extra experience and confidence.

“Connor got his first goal, Ryan nearly scored and Keanu’s performance was excellent, so they are coming back full of confidence and they bring that buzz into the squad with them.

“The boys have been asking about the likes of Phil Foden and how good he was so it brings a real buzz around the place and it lifts everybody and gives us a boost.”

Robinson is looking to get back to winning ways after two defeats and a draw in their last three games before the break, but knows they will be in for a tough game against the Staggies.

He said: “Ross County has some very good individuals and Malky’s teams are always well organised. They are a big threat from long throws and set plays, they have got three big boys at the back and they have a goal threat up front.”

The Saints currently sit in third place in the Premiership following their best start to a league season in over 60 years.

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