In so many ways the current season has been the polar opposite for St Johnstone of the one that preceded it.
Double cup winners have become relegation scrappers.
But one thing that hasn’t altered, according to Jamie McCart, is Shaun Rooney’s infectious enthusiasm.
And neither has his importance to the team.
“I’ve known him for years and he’ll never change whatever the situation is,” said McCart, who was a team-mate and flat-mate of Rooney’s at Inverness before the pair made their moves to Perth.
“If you’d seen him the day after the Scottish Cup final you wouldn’t have noticed a difference between how he was the day after we went bottom of the table at St Mirren.
Two finals, two goals, two trophies.
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) May 23, 2021
“That’s just the way he is.
“That sort of personality can be so important in a dressing room to lift spirits.
“Maybe don’t ask Callum Booth, mind you. I think Rooney gets on his nerves!”
Rooney made his biggest on-pitch impact since the two Hampden winners when he helped transform last weekend’s clash with Dundee, scoring the Dens Park equaliser.
“Now he’s back to fitness he gives the team a massive threat from set-pieces, as he showed on Saturday,” said McCart.
“He’s got personality off the pitch and on it.
“You always hear him whether he’s shouting at players or at the referee.
“He can use his assets in that central role as well as out wide, which he showed against Dundee.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) April 25, 2022
“He was a miss when he was out with his ankle injury.
“It would be great if we can keep the core of the team fit for the last few games, and he’s definitely part of that.
“If that happens, we’ve got a good chance.”