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St Johnstone set for double (or even triple) new contract boost

Callum Davidson.
Callum Davidson.

There could be a double, or even triple, new contract boost for St Johnstone in Scottish Cup semi-final week.

Callum Davidson is confident that work behind the scenes to extend the deals of players who have helped the Perth club secure one trophy and set-up a great opportunity to make it a double will bear fruit ahead of their Hampden Park clash with St Mirren on Sunday.

Liam Gordon, David Wotherspoon, Liam Craig, Stevie May and Callum Booth have all been tied up for 2021/22, in some cases beyond.

And significant progress has been made with other cup heroes who will be out of contract in a few weeks.

“We’re pretty close to a couple, maybe three,” said Davidson.

“Hopefully this week it will definitely be sorted.

“The more we can get the better. The squad have proved themselves this season. We’re trying our best to get them done.

“Sometimes players and agents have other ideas but that is just football for you.

“You would hope the players want to be part of this.

“It’s brilliant that we’re going for Europe and trying to win the Scottish Cup.

“The season easily could have drifted away but all credit to the players. They have kept going to make this happen.”

Another good news story is the availability of Murray Davidson after the former Scotland international was sidelined for three months with a calf injury.

Murray Davidson in action against Hibs.

The midfielder, who was a late substitute in Saints’ 1-0 victory against Hibs, is renowned for being able to hit the ground running after a lay-off.

And, as such, he will be in his manager’s plans for Sunday afternoon.

“It’s great for Murray,” said the Perth boss. “We were patient with him after he broke down the last time and wanted to make sure he was right and ready.

“We’re delighted we’re in the semi-final and that there are things to play for before the end of the season.

“Murray is going to be a real important part of the team going forward.

“He is a good professional on the training pitch. He does everything right and sets standards.

“The whole squad have done that and he’ll add to it.

“Even during his injury he was always about. He is always the first in and last away. It’s good to have him about the place and back available.

“We’re into that stage of the season when any injury someone picks up is likely to rule them out for the season so it’s a bonus to have an extra man back.

“The 10 or 15 minutes was a good length of time for him on Saturday and now he’ll train hard this week.

“That will be him ready for selection on Sunday.”

Saints were the only one of the four semi-finalists to win their weekend league match.

In their case at Easter Road, it was with a team that had seven different starters from their quarter-final at Ibrox.

“It showed the confidence I have in my squad,” said Davidson. “I’ve said that all season.

“It has worked and hopefully it continues to do so.

“I wouldn’t read too much into the results on Saturday ahead of the semi-finals. But we came through it unscathed.

“Everyone is fine and hopefully Zander (Clark) will be back as well.”

Zander Clark with Callum Davidson at Easter Road.

When Saints won the Scottish Cup in 2014, it was after suffering bitter disappointment at the same stage of the League Cup that season.

St Mirren fell at the last-four hurdle of the Betfred this year but Davidson stressed that won’t make the Buddies any more determined or focused than his players.

“They’ll use that but all of us are motivated,” he said. “There is no Old Firm in the semi-finals so that brings motivation as well.

“We’ve got the same attitude. We can’t think too much about what St Mirren will do. We will just make sure we prepare right.

“Hopefully winning the Betfred Cup already gives us further motivation.

“The pressure is not really on us because we’ve already won a major trophy this year.

“If we get to the final it’s an added bonus.”

St Johnstone: As Murray Davidson put it, ‘There will be no one who wants it more than me’

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