Wigan Athletic target Jamie McGrath’s head was not in the “right place” to play Dundee United amid transfer speculation, St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has said.

McGrath has been linked with a move away from the Scottish Premiership club this month, with Wigan Athletic among those said to be keen.

Birmingham City have also been mentioned as potential suitors and it is said that a departure is increasingly likely amid long-term interest from elsewhere.

Speculation ramped up once again earlier this week when McGrath was absent from St Mirren’s win over Dundee United.

Now, Buddies boss Jim Goodwin has shed some light on the reasons behind the midfielder’s absence.

As quoted by Football Scotland, Goodwin explained that McGrath was not in the right headspace to play in the game amid ongoing speculation around his future. He added that he needs players to be fully committed to the cause at hand, saying:

“Jamie did not feel that his head was in the right place for the game.

“If Jamie McGrath is available then Jamie plays, it’s as simple as that.

“But it’s not about any individual. I need boys who are 100 percent committed to the St Mirren cause.

“It doesn’t matter who they are, whether they are the most experienced player, the youngest player or the best player. It doesn’t matter. It’s about the team and Jamie wasn’t in a good place.”

Goodwin added that if a deal is to be done, he would rather it is struck sooner rather than later, with the speculation “messing with his head”.

Ready for a new challenge…

Although McGrath hasn’t been at his best this season, the Irishman played a starring role for St Mirren last season.

Operating in a range of roles, the attacking midfielder netted 17 goals and laid on six assists in 46 games during the 2020/21 campaign, showing that he’s ready to test himself at the next level.

The 25-year-old has shown his ability while playing in Ireland and Scotland but the EFL will present a unique challenge. It will be hoped that whoever brings the Athboy-born ace can get the best out of him, with rumoured suitors Wigan looking to win promotion to the Championship and Birmingham keen on climbing up the second-tier table.