“Proud” St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has heaped praise on his players for holding their nerve to keep the Perth club in the Premiership.
And he has pledged to do all he can to make sure they are never in this perilous position again under his watch.
Saints produced a four-goal second half to see off Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the McDiarmid Park play-off.
Stevie May started the scoring with his first touch as a substitute and then Cammy MacPherson, Callum Hendry and Shaun Rooney all got in on the act.
A trying season has ended on a high.
“We all know how tough a season it’s been and where we were,” said Davidson.
“I’m so proud of the boys.
“A big thanks to our supporters.
“After that Kelty game they’ve stood by us and backed us in big numbers tonight.
“We weren’t very good first half – a bit nervous and ponderous but we got the goal.
“It was great for Stevie to get it.
🗣 "So much to lose for so many people if we couldn't get it done, we had a poor season"
Man of the Match Stevie May gives his instant reaction to St. Johnstone's 4-0 win over Inverness 👇 pic.twitter.com/xXaYO1QXAX
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) May 23, 2022
“We’d lost Jamie McCart with concussion before the game and then Glenn Middleton at half-time with a hamstring injury.
“Stevie gives everything for the team and that’s the type of spirit we needed tonight.”
Saints have become used to winning silverware under Davidson but a survival mission accomplished deserves to stand alongside it for different reasons in his eyes.
“People have asked me about winning the two cups and staying in the league,” he said.
“For me, this a bigger achievement.
“I know that might sound strange.
“But mentally, to play under pressure like this every single week after being bottom from January by quite a bit was incredibly tough.”
Davidson is already turning his thoughts to improvements that need to be made next season.
“It’s important we get a good strong squad together,” he said.
“We might lose a few players – Zander (Clark) is a definite one – but we need to replace them with quality.
“None of us want to go through something like that again.
“We need to make sure we get our recruitment right.
“What I would like to say is none of the players going to be out of contract have downed tools.
“They’ve worked their socks off and fought for the cause.
“I can’t thank them enough for that.”