St Mirren gaffer Jack Ross believes midfielder Cammy Smith could be playing at a higher level than the Scottish Championship, and backed the former Aberdeen man to play a key role in Saints’ promotion push.

Smith moved to St Mirren on loan in January and made the move permanent in the summer, penning a two-year contract after leaving the Dons.

The 22-year-old has shown consistently good form since his switch to Paisley, particularly since Ross switched to a 3-4-2-1 formation for the last three league games. Smith has been deployed behind lone striker Gavin Reilly, alongside Lewis Morgan, and with less defensive responsibility the youngsters have given defenders all sorts of problems, notably on Saturday as both found the net in the win over Inverness.

While Morgan’s scintillating form and six goals already this season have seen him grab most of the headlines, Smith’s form has not gone unnoticed by his manager, who sees him as a key player for St Mirren.

He said: “Because Lewis has grabbed so many plaudits, and rightly so, he maybe has went a bit under the radar, but Cammy’s role in my team and the way we play is so vital.

“He’s a really really good player. For me he is playing below his level in terms of where he should be playing and where he will play in the future, hopefully that will be with us.

“He’s a brilliant boy with a great attitude. I thought early in pre-season he was snatching at chances at bit but he’s now finding his range with goals as well. I’m delighted for him, if he keeps up that performance level he will get his rewards in the future.”

Saints have now scored 10 goals in their three home league games this season, with the goals being spread around six players in the squad.

Ross has been impressed with his players’ ruthless streak in front of goal and put the bout of goals down to the hard work put in at the club’s Ralston training ground.

He added: “We have that ability, which is brilliant. We have an abundance of players middle to front who have goals in them. The quality of some of the goals this season has been terrific.

“The quality of what we do in training finishing wise is fantastic, the players deserve credit for that, and they take that into games.”