St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson’s cup final week mantra will be – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The Perth boss would only be tempted to treat the build-up to Sunday’s Hampden Park clash with Livingston differently from normal if his team’s recent Premiership form was concerning him.
But, with Saints peaking at just the right time and winning their last match at Motherwell convincingly, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
So sticking with familiar routines will be the way to go.
“I want it to be exactly the same sort of training week,” said Davidson. “Energy levels are good and standards are high.
“If I thought we needed a boost, I’d probably try something different this week. But the way they’re going about their business is first class and if we can carry that on we’ll give ourselves a great opportunity of winning the trophy.
“The likelihood is that if we weren’t in Covid times we’d have taken the team away like we did in 2014 (when Saints based themselves at the Dunkeld House Hotel towards the end of the week) but I don’t need to worry about team spirit, that’s for sure.
“Everybody’s involved and part of it.”
He doesn’t need to worry about performance levels either. Experienced duo Liam Craig and Callum Booth have been the latest to put their hand up for selection on the back of their impressive displays at Fir Park on Saturday.
That gives me another problem for that position.
“Liam was great,” said Davidson. “He’s played really well since he’s come back into the team.
“Liam and Callum are both very good players and very good pros.
“I could easily have put Scott Tanser back in at the weekend but Callum played well against Celtic and I thought he deserved to keep his place.
“That gives me another problem for that position.”
This time last week Davidson was determined that there would be no looking past Motherwell and his players certainly heeded his message.
“That speaks volumes for their character,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of young ones and the experienced pros have been a big help to them. In terms of attitude, we were at a really high level.
“Looking towards getting into the cup final team could have been an incentive but, more importantly, the players were focused on improving our league position. That job isn’t done and will continue after the final.
“We’ve asked the players to have conviction in both boxes. We’re doing that and we’re playing some really good football. Saturday was out best all-round performance of the season.
“I believed it was going to come.
“At the start of the season we weren’t putting the ball in the back of the net but the other parts of the team were working well. That has obviously helped massively.
“We look a threat at set-plays now as well.”
The face to face well-wishing from Saints fans won’t be a feature of this final week but Davidson wanted to put on record his appreciation of the backing his team can feel nonetheless.
“We know we’re getting a lot of support out there,” he said. “It’s massively important for us. A lot of the guys are on social media and I’ve seen a few things myself.
“It’s great that people are behind us.
“We’re absolutely gutted that we can take our fans to Hampden but our focus is on winning the trophy and bringing it back to Perth for them.”