With two trophies in the boardroom and big European nights fresh in the memory, the St Johnstone Cammy MacPherson signed for wasn’t the underappreciated and under-the-radar club of years gone by.
After a brush with relegation, though, the Perth side have got their traditional aura back.
And the former St Mirren midfielder believes an underdog mindset will serve them well in this season’s Premiership campaign.
“I can sense that the club has got that mentality back again,” said MacPherson.
“People are already starting to write us off because we didn’t get through the group stage of the League Cup.
Get your money on St Johnstone to be relegated
— Duncan (@ketaminedrams) July 16, 2022
“Obviously we’re not happy about that.
“But it hasn’t changed the belief in the dressing room that we can do good things this year.
“We’ll be hoping to get in the top six.
“We have just got to focus on ourselves because other people’s opinions don’t matter.
“We know we have a good squad and know we can do well.
“If we do that then people’s opinions will change.”
Altering outside perceptions is motivation – but not as powerful as the desire to avoid the sort of stressful campaign Saints have just endured, with their top flight status in jeopardy until the last few minutes of a play-off against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
“Last season wasn’t nice,” said MacPherson. “The final two weeks were hard but we performed well in the play-offs bar 20 minutes in the first leg.
And St. Johnstone is STAYING in the Scottish Premiership! 🎉
St. Johnstone 3 – Inverness CT 0 ️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/MS0ZBTsFGN
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) May 23, 2022
“It wasn’t good enough. We have to finish a lot higher up the table this time – we want to finish in the top six.
“We have added quality so I feel we have a good chance this time.
“We have signed some good attacking players – Jamie Murphy and Graham Carey bring a lot of experience and quality.
“They will score important goals for us.
“We are better players than we showed last season so we have to put it right.”
He added: “I was a young boy at St Mirren when we stayed up through the play-offs.
“I know how massive it was for us and the following season I think we finished higher up the table.
“When you are in the play-offs it’s horrible and it’s a relief when you get through them. Once that’s over you don’t want to go back there.”
No more injuries
Two dislocated shoulder lay-offs and groin surgery made for a season that denied MacPherson the rhythm a signing needs when bedding into his new surroundings.
Changing that is high on his individual wish list.
“I want to get consistency because last year didn’t go to plan for me,” he said.
“It was too stop-start. I have to make sure I am available for every session and every game.
“If I can do that then it will stand me in good stead to have a much better season this time around.
“It was the most frustrating one I’ve had.
“When you get in the team you want to stay there and get some consistency in your performances.
“You want 10 to 15 games in a row but the most I was able to put together was three.
“It was really annoying.”
It’s Hibs first up at McDiarmid Park for Saints.
Drawing with Annan and only beating Ayr by a single goal aren’t results to get excited about but, tag them onto the end of last season, and Saints have only lost one of their last seven home matches.
𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙝𝙖𝙢 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙠𝙚 🚀
Officially opening his Saints account in style 😎
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) July 25, 2022
“We want to get off to a good start and we know how important winning our games here will be,” said MacPherson.
“That’s what you build your success on.
“The play-off was a great night and we beat Aberdeen here just before that.
“I’m sure we can use that. With the fans behind us again this can be a place where we get good results.
“Ourselves and Hibs have brought a spotlight on ourselves.
“That’s going to happen if you’re a Premiership team and you get knocked out.
“It’s something we’ll have to cope with.”