There won’t be any room for sentiment when Callum Davidson picks his Betfred Cup final team.
And St Johnstone legend Murray Davidson will be no exception.
A setback in training for the Perth midfielder, who injured his calf at Ibrox a few weeks ago, has left the former Scotland international rated “50-50” to be available for Hampden Park.
While David Wotherspoon has now shown his boss he is good to go, time is running out for his McDiarmid Park team-mate.
And the bar has been set at “100%” fitness, nothing less.
“Spoony is fine, no problems at all,” Davidson reported. “Muzz is probably now 50-50.
“He just had a tiny bit of a setback on Monday so we’ll need to see how he is tomorrow. He is close but we’re just not sure how close he is. That’s the only downside to this week.
“We will wait and see how he is. We knew we would have to push him hard for this Sunday so we’ll give him every chance to make it.
“I haven’t picked my team yet so I’ll wait and see how he is and we’ll decide after that.
“It’s a real difficult one. I know Murray, played with Murray, but that doesn’t come into it all.
“I need to pick the best 11 that is available to me. Who’s fittest? Who’s strongest? Murray just has to try to convince me that he is 100 per cent right and we’ll take it from there. That’s all I can do.
“Sentiment doesn’t come into it. I’ve got to pick a team that I think will win the game first and foremost. That might mean other players are a little bit annoyed they are not playing.
“But I believe in what we’re doing here and I will try to pick a team that I think will win the game.
“There have been some good performances lately that have put me under pressure. Some of them will probably have forced themselves into the team for Sunday. Some of them won’t. That’s for me and my backroom staff to decide.
“The good news is that they all came through training today, which was the tough day.”
Davidson hopes that “belief” will be taken from Saints’ recent win against Sunday’s opponents, Livingston, in the league.
“I asked the players that day for attitude,” he said.
“Livingston have been unbelievable for the last couple of months. Their performance levels have been really high and they’ve got a great work ethic. I just said to the players that day: ‘You have to bring the right attitude’.
“They will fight and they will battle but we’re at Hampden so it’s a slightly different game. And there will be other factors that can help us win the game too.”
There isn’t much cup final experience in his squad but Davidson puts a stronger emphasis on how his players grew into their semi-final against Hibs.
“The way they performed at Hampden can give them confidence,” he said. “We probably didn’t start as well as we could have but as the game went on, we got stronger and stronger. For me, that’s a huge confidence boost and it should be for the players.
“Hopefully we can take that into Sunday. It was a huge thing for the players involved.
“Cup games are all about what you do on the day. If you do things right and do both boxes well then you’ve got a chance.
“I think the game will be pretty close. The first goal will be very important because Livingston are very good when they get in front. They disrupt the game and slow it down and it’s very hard to claw it back.
“It’s really important we have a good start on Sunday. That would give us a platform to try and win it.”
Arranging career achievements in order of significance would be a very nice Sunday night task for Davidson when he gets back to his Dunblane home after the game. It’s not something he’s given any thought to yet, though.
The club means a lot to me.
“It’s a difficult one because obviously I don’t know what the feeling would be like yet if we do win,” he said. “I genuinely don’t know how to answer the question. I do know it would be massive for myself and my family.
“St Johnstone are the team I grew up with, played for, left and then came back to, and then left and came back to again.
“The club means a lot to me.
“But the most important thing is that my players get to taste success for themselves.”