Connor Ronan on St Mirren reset, new system, Ireland ambition and Jamie McGrath inspiration

St Mirren midfielder Connor Ronan believes a reset over the winter break is behind the club’s upturn in form.

The 23-year-old was the matchwinner on Tuesday night with a wonderful curled finish past Joe Lewis to secure a 1-0 win over Aberdeen in Paisley.

After an 11-game winless run in the league, the Buddies have now won three in a row, lifting them to within three points of the top six and into the Scottish Cup fifth round.

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Manager Jim Goodwin used the rescheduled winter break to tweak the team's shape, moving from a back three to a back four. Ronan, on loan from Wolves, has played out wide and in the centre.

"That was the first thing the gaffer said after the break,” he said. "He told us to forget last year and to start again this year afresh.

"Obviously we had a good run at the start of the season and dropped off a bit towards Christmas. But the gaffer told us to start afresh after Christmas and we all felt that.

"There's been a change of formation and style of play and we've all bought into that during training.

"It's been working well and hopefully we can keep doing that."

Connor Ronan celebrates after scoring the winner for St Mirren against Aberdeen. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

For Ronan, who admitted his own performances “dropped off”, a key role within the system will, he hopes, lead to Ireland recognition where he could team up with Buddies colleague Jamie McGrath.

"I'm just taking each game as it comes and hopefully chipping in with a few more goals and assists," Ronan, who has 14 caps for Ireland’s under-21s, said. “That won't do me any harm.

"It gives me a lot of confidence seeing what Jamie has done, playing in this league.

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"He had a really good season last year and has got in the squad, played in big games and kept his place in the squad.”

Ronan, with two-and-a-half years left on his Wolves deal, is not looking beyond his current loan spell with regards to his future. And he was coy when talk turned to top-six aspirations.

"We've just got to keep taking each game as it comes and picking up as many wins as possible,” he said.

"The table is in the back of our minds but we just need to try to stay on an undefeated run."

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