Callum Davidson doesn’t expect Ali McCann to rest on his laurels.
The new St Johnstone boss couldn’t fail to be impressed with the Perth club’s player of the year anytime he took in a Saints game last season.
And working with McCann again on the training ground over the last couple of months has reinforced his belief that the 20-year-old will be a key player for him in the next campaign as well.
When Davidson left McDiarmid Park for Stoke City two years ago the academy product had only made two starts for Saints and two substitute appearances.
It has been while he’s been away that McCann has made his real breakthrough.
A loan at Stranraer two season ago and then 35 games (and five goals) in 2019/20 for Tommy Wright have established McCann as one of the most promising midfielders in the Premiership.
The Northern Ireland under-21 international won’t be content to bask in the glory of a job very well done so far though, according to Davidson. He’ll want to get better and better.
“Ali impressed me when I saw him last season,” said the Perth boss.
“I always thought he was a good player but in the last year he’s really accelerated his progress.
“He’s impressed me a lot. He’ll be an important part of the squad and the team.
“Ali did really well last season but he knows he’s got to keep going, he needs to keep improving and moving in that direction.
“I know his character and I’m sure he’ll keep going the right way.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see McCann become a full international during the coming season. But as far as former Scotland player Davidson is concerned, it will be in the wrong colours.
He joked: “The only disappointment with him is playing for Northern Ireland!”