Graeme Shinnie, reflecting on a whirlwind five months back with his hometown club of Aberdeen, said the turnaround had been amazing.

The energetic midfielder, keen to return to Pittodrie on a permanent basis following his loan spell from Wigan Athletic, relegated from the English Championship, was in buoyant mood after hitting two of the Dons goals in their 3-0 win over St Mirren on Wednesday as they secured third place in the Premiership.

He admitted that while he is not surprised that first-time manager Barry Robson has brought about such a transformation – Aberdeen trailed Hearts by 11 points at one stage – he had not seen his former Pittodrie team-mate as a potential boss.

“Did I ever envisage Baz being my manager? Probably not,” he said. “What I have seen with the youth team and the philosophy he has created for the club with the youth, however, made me confident he could then bring that through to the first team.

“I think you can tell with the way he is trying to play with the trans-itions and the excitement it brings, and the forward runs, it gets the crowd on their feet and gets the place going. We showed that against St Mirren our transitions were good and we broke with pace. In that aspect, I knew he could do it.

“The turnaround has been amazing. Did I think it would go as well as that? Maybe not, but it is testament to the manager and staff.”

The diplomatic language surrounding his hoped-for perm-anent return to Aberdeen in the summer, remains. There were matters to be negotiated, terms to be agreed, he said, as he enjoyed the immediate moments after the win, helped by Leighton Clarkson’s stunning 25-yard free-kick.

READ MORE: Aberdeen 3 St Mirren 0: Barry Robson leads Dons to Europa League spot

Shinnie’s contribution since he moved to the north-east of Scotland in January has been a major factor in Aberdeen’s rise up the league table under Robson, and he will almost certainly be on the Pittodrie books soon.

He wants it, Robson wants it, and Wigan, in need of funds, want it, as well as a six-figure fee for his transfer, given that he still has another year to run on his contract.

In the meantime, the player who left Aberdeen for Derby County as a free agent in 2019 and then to the Latics in January last year, prefers others to hammer out the details.

“We will then see what happens,” he said. “There is stuff to be dealt with, in terms of where I will be.

“That will be dealt with over the summer. Right now, I am a Wigan player at the end of the loan spell.

“I love it here and it feels like home here. I am captain and I love the club. You can see that with the passion I have for the club but we will wait and see.

“Everything about Wednesday night and the frustration of not being able to play for four weeks because of suspension, and the magnitude of the game – getting third and back into Europe – has been massive for the club. It is the kind of night you would expect at a club like Aberdeen and nights you want. You enjoy them every time.”

St Mirren’s Mark O’Hara admitted the red card given to team-mate Thierry Small on the half hour for his over-zealous challenge on Bojan Miovski did irreparable damage to Stephen Robinson’s outfit.

“The timing of it was always going to make the rest of the game diff-icult,” he said. “We were deflated, which was disappointing because we went there to get a result.

“It’s been fine lines and that’s probably the difference. That’s why we’re finishing sixth.

“But it has been the club’s most successful season for a long time We’ll look back on that, but I fully believe this squad is capable of more and next season we’ll be striving to achieve that and prove that.

“I don’t know the future of quite a few boys. Some will be moving on. They’ve been great servants to the club. Some will be hard to replace, but the manager and staff have a track record of bringing in the right players. It’ll be exciting over the summer to see who we bring in.”