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St Johnstone defender Jamie McCart puts contract talks on ‘back-burner’ but doesn’t rule out Perth stay

Jamie McCart has put St Johnstone contract talks on the back-burner.
Jamie McCart has put St Johnstone contract talks on the back-burner.

All contract talks are on the “back-burner” for St Johnstone defender Jamie McCart.

But the double cup winner, who will be a free agent at the end of the season along with Zander Clark, Shaun Rooney and Callum Hendry, hasn’t ruled out extending his stay at McDiarmid Park.

“I’m not sure at this time,” said McCart. “That can get put on the back-burner until the end of the season.

“Obviously the most important thing is getting out of the situation we’re in and staying in the league.

“That means picking up points.

“I think everybody will say the same thing.”

McCart has long been linked with a summer transfer to England but asked if it was cut and dried that he would be seeking a new challenge away from Perth, the former Inverness Caley Thistle man replied: “No, no.

“We’ll wait and see at the end of the season.

“My only focus is St Johnstone.

“These last few years have been absolutely brilliant. We’ve got to concentrate on finishing the season on some sort of a high.”

Preferably, that “sort of high” will come in the guise of 10th place in the Premiership.

For that end-of-season aim to be achieved, beating St Mirren on Saturday is essential.

“It’s another huge game for us,” said McCart. “The point we got last week at Dundee could turn out to be huge.

“We knew they would throw everything at us because they are in the automatic relegation spot.

“This week we have to focus on getting a win which would get us looking up the table for once.

“That would give us real positivity for the last few games.”

Unfamiliar territory for St Mirren

Saints’ bottom or near to the bottom of the table status has been established for several months.

St Mirren’s slump into their part of the world is far more recent.

“We have been in this situation for a while,” said McCart. “I suppose we are battle-hardened.

“I can’t say how St Mirren will be feeling. Hopefully we can play on it a bit.

“But we are just focused on picking up three points.

“Our poor form earlier in the season landed us in this situation. I think we went 12 games without a win.

“We know how tough it can be to get a result when you are on one of those runs.

“It wasn’t a nice feeling.

“We have to make sure St Mirren don’t get out of the one they are on.

“It is definitely an opportunity to drag another team back into it with us and Dundee.

“We have had a decent run of form after the break and hopefully that continues.”

Don’t let this chance slip

The Saints players are determined there won’t be a repeat of their late February performance in Dingwall – the previous occasion they had a chance of dragging a third team into the relegation mix.

“We let the last opportunity slip when we lost at Ross County,” said McCart.

“It was a real sickener. That was maybe the lowest we have been.

“We didn’t have a sit down after that but there was a sense of deflation about the place after that defeat.

“No one really spoke on the journey back from Dingwall.

“The defeat at St Mirren was another disappointment.

“We had chances in games around that time but lost points through our own mistakes or decisions going against us.

“But we are ready this time. We have consistency about the team and there’s a real good feeling about the place.

St Johnstone's Jamie McCart celebrates making it 2-1 against Hearts.
St Johnstone’s Jamie McCart celebrates making it 2-1 against Hearts.

“That comes down to the gaffer and his staff and the good personalities we have in the changing room.

“We got new faces in the break and things have clocked into place more for us.

“We have put ourselves in a better position over the last few months.

“We have a lot more confidence in the team.”

Callum Davidson: Comebacks show St Johnstone are a different animal ahead of huge St Mirren clash

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