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Jim Goodwin has high hopes for Connor Ronan and Jamie McGrath

St Mirren v St Johnstone – Scottish Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Jim Goodwin believes an “incredible” partnership between Connor Ronan and Jamie McGrath could develop at St Mirren this season.

Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 midfielder Ronan, 23, joined the Buddies on a season-long loan from Wolves at the end of August and in his third cinch Premiership game last Sunday he scored a brace to help Saints beat Aberdeen 3-2 for their first league victory of the campaign.

McGrath forced his way into the Ireland set-up after joining the Paisley club in January 2020 and was included in Stephen Kenny’s squad for the upcoming games against Azerbaijan and Qatar.

Boss Goodwin looks forward to his two stars gelling even more throughout the campaign.

“We tried to get him (Ronan) in previous windows but obviously he ended up in Switzerland last year with Grasshopper and he ended up at Blackpool the year before,” said the Irishman, who revealed striker Eamonn Brophy will be available for the game at Livingston on Saturday after coming off against Aberdeen with a head knock.

“We waited patiently for that one and thankfully Wolves decided that this is now the best place for Connor to continue his development.

“I was obviously delighted when the Irish squad got announced and I saw Jamie McGrath back in it and I think Sunday’s game probably came a little bit too late for Connor Ronan, if you like, if Stephen Kenny had been watching that maybe eight or nine days ago then Connor could have snuck into his thinking as well.

“Technically he is everything you would want from an attacking midfielder in terms of the bravery to take the ball in tight areas, he is always trying to play forward and we have lacked that little bit of creativity at times.

“He is still getting to know the players and understand the runs of Brophy and (Curtis) Main.

“Once himself and McGrath develop an understanding and relationship then I think they could be incredible together because you saw glimpses of that on Sunday.

“Good players tend to know where to be in relation to the ball and obviously they have that ability to play those killer passes and we saw that at the weekend.

“He (Ronan) is still not as fit and as sharp as we would like him to be and Sunday was his first 90 minutes in about six months but that will come no doubt and he is another great addition to the squad.”