Callum Davidson is closing in on new deals for three of his St Johnstone players.
Midfielder Liam Craig, defender Callum Booth and striker Chris Kane all penned short-term contracts through to January as the pandemic shrouded Scottish football’s finances in uncertainty.
But the Saints manager, who will list all three in his squad for tomorrow night’s Betfred Cup clash with Tayside rivals Dundee United, is hopeful of lengthening their stays at McDiarmid Park.
“We are definitely looking to extend their deals and that is ongoing despite the Covid situation,” he said.
“It is something we have been speaking about and hopefully we can get things tied-up pretty soon for the three of them.”
With wingback Danny McNamara on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U21s and midfielder Ali McCann preparing for Northern Ireland’s Euro crunch qualifier with Slovakia on Thursday, Davidson will make full use of his squad.
He said: “The players are all fit but unfortunately we miss Ali and Danny for this week.
“It is a blow to us because Ali was excellent against Kilmarnock on Friday night.
“I had dropped him for the game against Dundee United because he had played a lot of games and he is still a young man learning his game.
“You can tell with Ali’s attitude that he is determined to do well and I knew that was the case.
“He didn’t put his head down, he got on with it and proved me right.”
Davidson confirmed Israeli striker Guy Melamed will be blooded against United or Peterhead at the weekend.
But centre Kane has also staked a claim after turning in an impressive cameo in the 1-0 win over Killie.
“I thought he was fantastic. It was great for me to see,” said Davidson.
“Chris is at that stage where he missed the first 6-8 weeks to injury. It is good to see him getting up to speed.
“He works unbelievably hard in training and now I just want him to add goals.
“If he can perform like that he is going to put pressure on the strikers.
“If he starts banging the goals in then it will be one of those situations where I can’t not play him.
“It is up to him when he gets his opportunity to start a game.
“Guy is getting closer now and looking sharper every day in training.
“He will be involved in the next two games.”
Saints top their group and Davidson is looking to seal a passport to the next stage.
“The players are well aware the cups are important for us,” he said.
“I quite like how the games are coming during the international break rather than at the start of the season.
“It is actually nice because you have two games to concentrate on in the cup.
“It is slightly different from how you would probably play or plan towards a league game.
“It is really important for us to get the victory against United and hopefully we can qualify for the next stages.”
After two league draws this term with United, Davidson is braced for another close encounter.
“I think this is the only Premiership tie. It is a bit unfortunate for the two of us to draw each other.
“It is going to be another tough game.
“They obviously need to win to qualify so I think it will probably be more of an attacking game than the last home game.”