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St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson wants to keep Michael O’Halloran – and St Mirren interest won’t stop him playing on Sunday

St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran.
St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson wants to keep Michael O’Halloran.

And St Mirren’s confirmed interest in his soon to be out of contract forward won’t be a factor when the Perth manager makes his Scottish Cup semi-final team selection.

Buddies’ boss Jim Goodwin admitted the double trophy winner at McDiarmid Park is “a player I have always liked” and is “on the list” of possible summer targets.

But Davidson hopes O’Halloran will extend his stay with St Johnstone and admiring glances from the opposition camp ahead of Sunday’s Hampden Park last-four clash haven’t made picking him awkward.

“Not in the slightest,” he said.

“I try to get my players signed up and Michael is one of them.

“There will be interest from other clubs for our players but it’s just important we concentrate on the tie that is ahead.

“Michael has been superb in the last three games and that is the Michael I like to see. It puts pressure on me for team selection.

“His attitude in training has also been superb. I’d like to keep Michael.”

O’Halloran started two of Saints’ recent matches and made a big impact off the bench in a couple of others, most notably in the cup quarter-final at Ibrox when it was his run down the right that earned the corner for Zander Clark’s equaliser.

Davidson has been impressed by the 30-year-old’s adaptability.

“Michael has played wide left for me, wing-back and up front,” he said. “He probably doesn’t like it but he is a really good asset to the team.

“Wing-back is something we worked on and talked about with him. He can definitely play there because we are an attacking side.

Michael O’Halloran runs past Alex Gogic.

“Attacking is his strength and if we work on his defending, which we have been doing in training, then it’s another string to his bow.

“I asked the subs to give us an impact against Rangers and he did that. He is doing everything right and that is all credit to him.”

Getting back on the weights has played a part in O’Halloran’s good form of late.

“He is in the gym all of the time and has put on a bit of muscle,” Davidson explained. “He looks back to the strong Michael we know.

“He lost a lot of weight at the start of the season because of lockdown and not being able to go to the gym. But he’s now back on it.

“He works really hard on and off the pitch.”

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

 

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