Liam Gordon has had to be a very patient Saint.
The young defender has been understudying St Johnstone skipper Joe Shaughnessy and the club’s all-time appearance record holder Steven Anderson.
Shaughnessy clocked-up 109 starts on the spin after making the switch from Aberdeen three years ago.
But that record was halted when the centre-back missed the Betfred Cup draw with East Fife, and a nasty leg wound suffered in a bike crash will prevent him facing Montrose tomorrow.
Gordon is ready to plug the gap again as Tommy Wright’s men face the in-form League One side, which tops the group after back to back wins over Falkirk and East Fife.
“It was good to get a start last weekend. I know I need to take my chance when I get these opportunities,” said the former Hearts youngster.
“This could be a make or break season here for me because I am 22 and at an age now when I need to be playing games and kicking on.
“It has been frustrating at times because Ando and Joe don’t get injured very often and playing for the under-20s every now and then isn’t really a proper test.
“The East Fife game was the first one Joe has missed since coming from Aberdeen. He had played more than 100 games in a row.
“That is ridiculous for a guy who throws his body on the line. It speaks volumes about how good a professional he is and that is something I would like to replicate.
“There has been strong competition in my position with older players like Steven Anderson and Joe Shaughnessy, who never seemed to miss a game.
“I have had to bide my time. But I don’t get too down about it.
“It’s alright when you are younger, being on the bench and getting occasional games. But regardless of what level you are at you need to be playing and I feel I can cope at the top level.
“I know I have had good players ahead of me. But this season is a big one for me. Hopefully I can be part of a team which has a successful season.”
Gordon is confident Saints will find the cutting edge which was absent against East Fife.
“We couldn’t get an early goal and East Fife made it difficult for us,” he said.
“They defended their box really well. I felt we knocked the ball about nicely but it would have been good to get more going in the final third.
“That was out first proper competitive game, although we took the friendlies seriously as well.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the net but I am sure that will come.”