Stephen Robinson delighted to have Charles Dunne available for St Mirren debut

Charles Dunne file photo
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Stephen Robinson was forced to wait a few more days for his St Mirren debut but the new Buddies boss admits he got a big result in midweek when Charles Dunne’s suspension was quashed.

Dunne saw a red card for an aerial challenge against Livingston on Saturday downgraded to a yellow ahead of the postponement of Wednesday’s game against Dundee.

Club administrator Vicki Gilzean had begun the appeal process before Robinson’s appointment on Tuesday and Dunne will now be available for St Mirren’s home game against Hearts this Saturday.

“I would like to take the credit for that one but it was absolutely nothing to do with me,” the new Saints boss said. “Vicki put it all together.

“But I don’t think it was too hard a decision. It’s nice that people actually admit when they make a mistake, which (referee) Willie (Collum) obviously did, and it was downgraded to a yellow card. Which is great because Charles has been a big, big part of the success so far.

“To lose him for two games over that would have been a joke so I’m glad we got that sorted.”

The news was a major boost for Robinson, who was unable to pick the defender during his final 16 months in charge of Motherwell.

Dunne missed the vast majority of the previous two seasons after suffering bone-bruising during a collision with an advertising hoarding.

So Robinson, who signed the 29-year-old for both Motherwell and Oldham, is delighted to finally have him available.

“Both on and off the pitch, Charles is such a character,” Robinson said. “He really runs the dressing room and keeps everybody motivated, and it was a big loss to Motherwell when he wasn’t fit.

“His pace is electric so it allows you to press teams higher up the pitch knowing he has that recovery pace.

“It’s just great to see him as a boy and a player back playing, fit and enjoying life again.

“The last time I saw him we were just extending his contract on a basic number, just to try and keep him in work.

“I don’t think people realise how hard it is when you are injured and how mentally strong you need to be. Charles has shown that in abundance.”

After Wednesday’s game at Dens Park was rained off, Robinson saw snow derail his plans for training on Thursday but he hopes to do some more tactical work on the eve of Saturday’s game.

“With the momentum the club have got at the moment, it would have been good to play the game,” he said.

“It would potentially have given me more time with the players but with the snow that came we didn’t get too much tactical stuff done. It was indoor five-a-sides to get their legs moving.”

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