St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson says he’s happy to have made additions to his squad early in the transfer window, but isn’t finished with his transfer business yet.
Mark O’Hara, Trevor Carson, Jonah Ayunga and Toyosi Olusanya have already signed, with Keanu Baccus to join the club after having agreed a move.
The new arrivals are Robinson’s first since joining the club, having taken over from Jim Goodwin in February. As the manager returned to training ahead of his first full season in charge, he said the additions were necessary and that he was beginning to put his mark on the squad.
“There’s a base of a squad here,” Robinson told STV. “I felt it needed some more pace and energy into it, as every squad does for freshness at the start of the season.
“I feel we’ve been able to do that so far and retain the boys we want to, we’ve still got a couple of offers in to other players as well, that were here previously.
“So the squad is still building but I’m putting my own stamp on it now.”
The manager says he still plans to add more signings ahead of what he believes will be a particularly demanding season, with a large number of games scheduled before the winter break for the World Cup. Contract offers are in place for some players who were at the club last season, he said, including Alex Gogic, who made an impact while on loan from Hibs.
“We’ve made Alex a very good offer and it’s in Alex’s hands now,” Robinson explained. “He’s communicated all the way through and he’s been very respectful to me and the football club.
“We’d love to have him on board and we’re still waiting for that decision. We can only be hopeful.”
Saints are also keen to add Australian wing-back Ryan Strain from Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“He’s a player we’ve spoken to but we’re still waiting on final clearance for a deal to be done,” the St Mirren boss added. “Hopefully that will go through and if it does we’ve got a very good player on our hands.”
Key for Robinson was the ability to get the majority of his business done early in the window to allow players to settle in, learn his expectations , and bed into the team before the start of the season.
“I think it is important, just through my own experience,” he said. “Up in Scotland you’ve only a certain amount of people you can attract within your budget and there’s never been a case where I’ve thought ‘I wish I had waited’.
“Get your players in early, get your pre-season done and your squad more or less assembled so you can get your ideas across to them. That’s the way I have always worked.”
The League Cup campaign starts in just under three weeks, with the Premiership campaign beginning with a home match against Robinson’s former club Motherwell at the end of July.
The manager doesn’t have fixed targets for the season that he’ll make public, but is aiming to take the team as high as they can go.
“First and foremost make sure you’re in the division,” he said. “I always say that in any job that I have.
“Then you build from there.
“We’re trying to put things in place to make it more achievable to get into the top six. I imagine every club in the division is trying to do that though.
“We have to aim to try and get there. It’s yet to be done but we’re trying to put in place the building blocks. The training ground is almost finished, we feel like we’ve added pace and quality to the squad and if you look closely at last season, we were maybe four or five points from being a top six side.
“Have the signings we’ve made so far bridged that gap? Time will tell.”