Callum Davidson believes steering St Johnstone to Hampden for the fifth time in a year might even top last term’s cup double success.
The St Johnstone manager saw off Tayside neighbours Dundee in midweek to tee-up a lucrative Premier Sports Cup semi-final with Celtic in November.
Second-half strikes from cult hero Shaun Rooney and recent recruit Ali Crawford secured a return to the National Stadium.
Davidson has been delighted with the response of his players to the shock loss of skipper Jason Kerr and Northern Ireland international midfielder Ali McCann when Wigan and Preston popped up with bids totalling £2 million on deadline day.
He flagged-up the impact made by veteran defender Efe Ambrose and on-loan Bolton midfielder Crawford in back-to-back away wins over Aberdeen and Dundee which have kick-started Saints’ season.
“I think it is an even better achievement given the expectations on us,” said Davidson.
“I think everyone probably doubted us and said we can’t get back to Hampden.
“That has kind of spurred us on.
“Players move on but there have been a lot of positives to take.
“Replacements have come in and Efe has been magnificent and Ali scored to get us through.
“It is a harder job to get to Hampden and I’m just delighted we’ve managed to do so.”
After lifting two trophies in an eerily empty stadium, Davidson is pleased his players will get the chance to defend last term’s trophy in front of fans.
“It is great to be back at Hampden. I think there will be a great crowd so I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
“It will be a tough game against Celtic but they are all tough when you get to a semi-final.
“I’m just glad we are getting mentioned alongside Rangers, Celtic and Hibs. It is great for St Johnstone to be there.
“We just need to go there and do our job.
“It is always fun when you go to Hampden and win games.
“We will try our best to get through and that’s all we can do.
“When people mention St Johnstone now it’s not a case of ‘oh look St Johnstone are in a semi-final’.
“It is credit to the players that people are taking it for granted that we are in there.
“We are delighted. It was hard to get there and it has taken a lot of effort.”
Davidson is well aware reaching Hampden for a fifth time since taking over the reins from Tommy Wright last summer has re-written the Saints history books.