Stephen Robinson issues Ryan Strain and Keanu Baccus update as St Mirren duo offered new deals

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

Stephen Robinson insists he hasn’t given up hope of retaining Australian internationals Ryan Strain and Keanu Baccus at St Mirren.

The Socceroos duo have both been offered new deals by the Buddies but have yet to sign.

Saints gaffer Robbo is braced for summer departures as his top-six heroes attract admiring glances from other clubs.

Strain and Baccus will both have their suitors and Robinson conceded there’s not much room left when it comes to thrashing out terms.

“Both have been offered contracts but at this moment in time neither have signed,” he confirmed. “And there is not a lot further we can go. Listen, you never know, things can change.

“Both boys have been fantastic for me at this football club. Nobody had heard of them when they came so the football club has been fantastic for both boys.

“We have given them the platform and they have certainly taken that. We haven’t lost all hope yet – we still might surprise a few.

“Keanu at the minute hasn’t been in the team because of the performances of others. He was also away and ill at the same time which took away a bit of his momentum. But he’s been a fantastic player for me and he’s a fantastic boy as well.”

Robbo knows the score when it comes to the business side of the game but is adamant Saints, who announced a one-year contract extension for Elvis Bwomono on Friday, are an attractive proposition at the negotiating table.

The high-flying Buddies could seal a place in next season’s Europa Conference League tomorrow with a win over Kilmarnock if Dundee fail to notch up a victory over Hearts at Tynecastle.

The boss said: “Money dictates a lot of things in life and rightly so. Players have short careers. But when there is not a lot between the offers financially then I think we have got a lot to offer. We have finished in the top six twice now.

“People can see the calibre of player we’ve got and also the staff that we’ve got. I think players enjoy working here. I think our reputation has spread of the good coaching staff we have here and I think players feel that they improve and get better.”

Meanwhile, Robinson reckons he’s kept star man Alex Gogic because St Mirren are now a top-six Premiership club.

The Buddies boss is delighted after the 30-year-old signed a new three-year contract at the SMiSA Stadium on Tuesday.

Robbo said: “He’s been a huge player for us this season – one of many – and it’s been great to get it over the line. I had been speaking to Alex for a long time.

“He has known my intentions and what I think of him since he first came to the football club. He was initially on loan and had seen things evolve and can see where we want to go.

“I spoke to him about the players we want to bring in to keep improving and I think he was quietly excited by it – and Goga never gets too excited! There were other clubs interested, in England and in Scotland, with other clubs offering him more money.

“But we made to clear how important he was to us and he chose to stay. I don’t think he would have signed if we weren’t a top-six side. We’re not in Europe yet but obviously we’re sitting here with that opportunity and it’s attracted Goga to sign.”

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