Stephen Robinson eyes Zach Hemming St Mirren return after stellar season

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson -Credit:SNS Group

Stephen Robinson wants to bring safe hands Zach Hemming back to St Mirren for next season.

The 24-year-old has been a star for the Buddies since joining on loan from English Championship side Middlesbrough.

Hemming came in before Northern Irish international Trevor Carson’s departure to Premiership rivals Dundee.

And Saints chief Robbo believes Hemming’s form between the sticks has ensured Carson wasn’t missed by the Paisley faithful.

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Middlesbrough,” he said. “My head of recruitment Martin Foyle, who has been fantastic for me, is in constant dialogue with all the players who we’re trying to get back.

“We’d love to have Zach back again. That might not be an early decision. Middlesbrough might want him back in pre-season. He’ll have a lot of people looking at him.

“With loan players you’re dictated to by the parent club and so at the moment we’re not in control of that. So, we have to look at other options which we are doing.

“Following Trevor – who is an international goalkeeper, a fantastic one, and a great boy – it shows the level Zach is that he’s come in and done as well as Trevor.

“Nobody has mentioned the fact Trevor left because Zach’s been that good. We’re confident in our recruitment and what we do. We just try to do it more efficiently than everyone else."

Meanwhile, Robbo insists Saints – who will qualify for the Europa Conference League tonight if Dundee fail to beat Rangers – can use Kilmarnock as a template in their pursuit of progress.

The Buddies boss held his hands up after Derek McInnes’ side won 1-0 in Paisley on Saturday to seal fourth place and the coveted Europa League spot that goes with it.

Robbo had no complaints as he reflected on picking up just one point from a possible 12 against Killie this season and the gaffer will look to utilise some of the Rugby Park outfit’s traits next term after McInnes revealed he used Saints as his blueprint at the beginning of this campaign.

When asked if there were things the Buddies could now learn from Killie, Robbo said: “Yeah, definitely.

“The reason they’re that many points ahead of us is they’ve beaten us three times. There was nothing in the game but I have to give credit to Derek’s side and the players they’ve brought in.

“They’re a really good side, first and foremost, with a real know-how. I mean that in the best possible way. They know how to win football matches and defend when they need to defend. They have quality on the ball.

“Kilmarnock maybe looked at us as a template. Well, maybe we now need to look at them as a template for us. We’ve got a very young squad but we’re going to be better next season for them having these experiences.”

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