Captain Joe Shaughnessy is set to make his first team comeback in the Betfred Cup this afternoon, as manager Tommy Wright faces up to the prospect of two of his centre-backs missing out through injury.
The Irishman played for Saints colts in the IRN-BRU Cup in midweek, after being sidelined with a bad cut below his knee since pre-season. And he may need to be called into action against Queen of the South in today’s last-16 League Cup clash at Palmerston.
“Joe will come straight into the squad because we have major doubts over Steven Anderson and Liam Gordon,” said Wright.
There was bad news regarding full-back Brian Easton.
“Easton felt something on Tuesday,” said Wright. “We’ll assess him but I’m not optimistic. It would be a real blow for him and us if he’s out for a bit longer.
“Chris Kane’s on his way back but won’t be involved. The squad pretty much picks itself. We’ve had to deal with four or five injuries pretty much all the way through the Betfred Cup. We’ll deal with it again.”
Murray Davidson will make his 300th appearance for the club, with Wright predicting another century for his influential midfielder.
He said: “Muzz has had a great career here when you think of the injuries he’s had.
“Even now there are times when I see him on a Tuesday and think there’s no way he’ll be fit for the Saturday, but he is. He’s always given me and the club everything.
“He can be a bit mischievous and he’s probably spent more time in my office than any other player.
“He just here’s the shout down the corridor, ‘Murray!’ And it’s like, ‘what have I done now?’ It’s never anything serious, though.
“He’s put his body on the line for this club – literally – on so many occasions. Even on Sunday he’s taken a knock on his ankle and carried on. Other players would have come off.
“Getting to 300 is a significant milestone and there’s no reason why he can’t get to 400.
“Any team evolves and there aren’t many left from when I came to the club or when I took over as manager.
“It’s important to have someone like Murray who knows the importance of a good dressing room.”
Meanwhile, other clubs have taken note of Callum Hendry’s impressive two-goal display for the colts in the 3-2 defeat to Dundee United, with Wright hoping a loan can be set up.
“Callum was outstanding in midweek,” said Wright.
“He probably needs to play regularly. A few clubs have made enquiries on the back of Wednesday night.
“His two goals were top quality. He just needs to stay fit now. If we can get him out on loan we’ll do that. If not, he needs to put real pressure on the players ahead of him.
“The fact that we gave him a two-year contract shows the faith we have in him. He just needs minutes on the pitch.”