Ross County midfielder Jackson Irvine says he would trade in his player-of-the-month award if it meant the Staggies secured a top-six Premiership finish.
Irvine was yesterday handed the award for March after an impressive run of performances, most notably a man-of-the-match display in the 2-1 League Cup final victory against Hibs at Hampden Park which secured the club’s first major silverware.
County’s form has dipped since their Hampden heroics, though, having taken just one point from their last three games, leaving their hopes of a top-six finish hanging in the balance despite occupying a top-half league position for most of the campaign.
Although Irvine regards the campaign a success given the League Cup triumph, the 23-year-old says a failure to finish in the top-half would be difficult to take.
Irvine said: “I would throw it out the window for a top-six finish. It’s something we’ve worked so hard for this season, so it will be really frustrating if it slips away from us.
“If you’d asked me at the start of the season if I’d have taken the cup success or a top-six finish, I’d probably have taken the cup. The cups are a bit more historic and medals and trophies can never be taken away from you.
“But we’ve been working since August 1 for this and it would frustrating to lose it now, especially if it comes down to the last two games.”
Australian midfielder Irvine, who has been capped twice by his country, hopes the award can help his prospects of forcing his way back into the Socceroos side this summer.
He added: “We’re playing England at Stadium of Light in Sunderland as part of their warm-up to the Euros and that would be pretty spectacular to be a part of that. We’ve got two games against Greece in Australia as well.
“International football is a privilege and not a right. It’s something you need to work hard for and, fortunately for me, there’s a couple of incredibly experienced top players that play in that central midfield area.
“Tom Rogic has come in and scored three goals in two games. I’m delighted for him.
“For someone with a bit more of a defensive side to the game like me, it’s really hard to break into that squad. But trophies and individual awards can only do myself better chances.
“We won the cup final a few days after the squad was announced and I wasn’t in it, but that’s football.
“If you’d have asked if I’d wanted to win a cup final or an international call up, I was always going to lean one way. Hopefully, I’ve got a long career ahead of me and international football comes with more experience I get.”