Alan Power insists he’s cleaning up his act after being told staying on his feet on the pitch will keep him off his backside in the stands.

The bad boy Buddie has already served a suspension for a reckless challenge on David Turnbull in the 6-0 drubbing against Celtic just a month into his St Mirren career.

And after three seasons in which he collected an astonishing 41 yellow cards and numerous bans for Kilmarnock, Power has been ordered to rein it in by Jim Goodwin.

The tough tackling Irishman came in for heavy criticism for his lunge on Turnbull which came with the Hoops leading 1-0.

But he reckons his reputation is unfair and, after going the last three games without a mark on the referee’s book, said: “I just try not to go to ground as easily. I’m not going to change my game too much, I can’t.

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“It’s the way I’ve been all my career. But the worst thing for me is missing games. I don’t like it.

“I’m a different man when I don’t have something to look forward to on a Saturday so I’ll just have to keep myself right.

“I’m quite happy, a couple of yellow cards and still being able to battle away so maybe it’s a new me!

“The Celtic red card hurt me more because of what I put the team through.

“It wasn’t a malicious tackle in my eyes, I’ve seen worse since.

“But it wasn’t the right time to make it and to leave my teammates who I’d just started playing with made me feel a bit more guilty.”

Power accepts the art of tackling has changed from when the 33-year-old was coming through as a youngster at Nottingham Forest.

He said: “It is harder to make an impact with a tackle than it was.

“My tackle in the Celtic game was me trying to turn the tide a bit in the stage we were getting beat and they had momentum.

“It can give people a lift, put them on the back foot but it wasn’t to be.

“It was mistimed and I got sent off. It has gone out of it a little bit but I can see why I was sent off as well.

“You put it down to momentum which on a slippy pitch can make it harder to stop your slide.

“But I’ve never gone into a tackle maliciously. It’s my first legitimate sending off in Scotland for the reputation I have so it’s more mistakes than anything malicious.”

Power is likely to line-up against Ross County this afternoon beside man of the moment Jamie McGrath who won his fifth Ireland cap against Qatar in midweek.

Saints have since made the 25-year-old the biggest offer in their history in a bid to fend off admirers in the next transfer window.

Power, who won a single Ireland 21 cap, reckons his Buddies mate is reaping the rewards for his application on and off the pitch - something he accepts he lacked at a similar age.

Power said: “He’s proving himself time and again.

“I would have liked a cap but I’m delighted for Jamie.

“I’m full of admiration for him. When I was called into the 21s I was still at Nottingham Forest. I signed for Hartlepool and I didn’t look after myself properly.

“I didn’t put my all into football and probably paid the price.

“Jamie does seem very level-headed. It’s my first season being around him, he’s had speculation and call-ups but he handles it really well.

“He’s a very gentle, quiet boy but on the pitch he lets his football speak for itself. He’s probably the nicest guy you could come across off the pitch but in the game he’s raring to go.

“If anything I’m probably looking at him thinking that was the way I should have done it!

“Hopefully it’s here for the rest of the season to help us out.”