Connor Ronan has been tipped for a Republic of Ireland call-up after producing a “magic” winning goal against Aberdeen on Tuesday night.
The St Mirren midfielder, on-loan from English Premier League side Wolves, scored the only goal of the game in Paisley as Jim Goodwin’s men move within three points of a top-six Premiership place.
The 23-year-old scored his fourth of the season with a curled shot from just outside the box in an otherwise uneventful game.
Goodwin hailed the strike as “brilliant” before saying Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny will be taking note.
And the St Mirren manager has challenged Ronan to emulate team mate Jamie McGrath by forcing his way into the international reckoning by producing similar performances on a regular basis.
He said: “It was a brilliant goal.
“In the first half of the season we found ourselves on the wrong end of those types of games.
“At half-time with the way the game was going I thought it would take something special and I’m pleased Connor came up with a bit of magic.
“It was another quality goal and I think he can go again. He’s not the finished article – there’s still room for improvement.
“Jamie McGrath has had that international recognition and Connor is capable of doing the same.
“The FAI are well aware of the quality he has and he just needs to keep doing that.
“If he continues with performances and goals like that – it will be shown over social media and on TV – and no doubt Stephen Kenny will see it.”
McGrath, who won six caps including starting against Portugal in a World Cup last year, was back in the team after missing two games because of the distraction of transfer speculation.
Goodwin said: “Jamie’s a St Mirren player until I get told otherwise.
“He was magnificent and showed the fans he cares and is committed to doing his best. I thought he was excellent.
“There wasn’t a single player who had a below-par performance.”
St Mirren are now in eighth place in the league, joint on points with seventh placed Dundee United and three behind Aberdeen in sixth.
The Dons never looked like equalising despite dominating possession for most of the game.
Manager Stephen Glass said: “It wasn’t good enough – the creativity in the final third wasn’t good enough.
“It was a poor performance. One moment of quality wins it for St Mirren and it’s disappointing with the possession we had that one of our players didn’t do it.
“In the first half we were the ones asked to make the running and didn’t do enough with the possession.
“Second half we gave away a cheap goal from our point of view. It was a brilliant finish but we didn’t do enough to threaten and you get what you get.”