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Mark O’Hara’s happiest spell in his career was given a surprise boost with a new two-year contract extension at St Mirren.

The 27-year-old midfielder signed from Motherwell last May and his new deal with the Paisley club takes him up until the summer of 2026.

O’Hara is stand-in captain in the absence of Joe Shaughnessy and has scored seven goals in 31 appearances this season; life at St Mirren could hardly be better.

The former Kilmarnock, Dundee and Peterborough player said: “It is the happiest I have been in my career.

“Everything feels right with regards the players, the staff and the club and it is the happiest I have been, the football has been great and I have been playing most weeks.

“I was surprised when the manager pulled me in a couple of weeks ago, I still had a year on my contract. I didn’t think it was top of the agenda.

“I have loved every minute here and it feels like home.

“I was absolutely delighted and I need to repay the manager, board and staff and everyone who has put trust in me. I am very thankful.”

Boss Stephen Robinson described the former Scotland Under-21 player as “a manager’s dream” as he spoke about building for the future by extending the contracts of key players.

He said: “We have done it with Marcus Fraser, Greg Kiltie, Mark and Trevor Carson. We are trying to build things and want stability.

“Mark is an ideal player for a manager. He never gives you any hassle, gets on with things, can play in any position.

“He is a manager’s dream to be honest. So he fully deserves it. He has been fantastic for me this season, as have the other boys we mentioned.

“What it does is put another building block in for next season and we mean we can maybe look to recruit four or five rather than nine and 10 which is the usual turnover at St Mirren.”

Robinson faces his third Dundee United manager this season on Saturday and after wins against Jack Ross and Liam Fox, he comes up against current manager Jim Goodwin, whose Tannadice side are bottom of the table.

Ahead of the trip to Tayside, he said: “It is the crazy world of football. It is only in the merry-go-round of football that these things happen.

“It is a different manager with different ideas but similar players.

“I have seen them against Livingston and Aberdeen and we have a good idea of what we face.

“They have a lot of talented boys in the squad.  It is surprise that they are down at that end of the table, but we have to expect a very tough game.”