St Johnstone skipper Joe Shaughnessy admits he isn’t sure the magnitude of what the team has achieved recently has sunk in yet.
However, what he is certain of is that he will only be happy if it all counts towards something tangible come the end of the campaign.
Saints made it a magnificent seven games unbeaten against Hearts at McDiarmid on Wednesday night, twice having to come from behind to take a share of the points.
The Jam Tarts’ opener by Arnaud Djoum was the first goal St Johnstone had conceded in 552 minutes of football.
As a centre-half, Shaughnessy was obviously proud of that shut-out record and the unbeaten run but he admits Saints want something to show for it come May.
When asked if what the team had achieved recently had sunk in, the big Irishman said: “Probably not. We just go and play. Everyone talks about the five wins and seven games unbeaten.
“But you just want that to count towards something.
“There is no point doing that then tailing off at the end of the season.
“You want to keep it going and hopefully you can look back and say it contributed to where we are at the end of the campaign.
“I am sure if we have done something and finished high up the table, then we can look back and be happy with it.
“We have been doing well. We had a break there when there weren’t many games and it was probably the wrong time for us.
“But we have dealt with the loss of Drey (Wright), Scott (Tanser) had to go off at half-time against Hearts and we dealt with that.
“So it is good to keep the unbeaten run going and hopefully we will can continue it on Saturday against Aberdeen.”
St Johnstone’s second goal that secured a share of the points against the Jambos came from a Matty Kennedy penalty after referee Andrew Dallas decided Liam Gordon’s jersey had been tugged in the box by Peter Haring.
The decision incensed the Hearts players and their manager Craig Levein but Shaughnessy thought the official probably got it right.
However, he pointed out with tongue firmly in cheek that with Saints having missed their previous three penalties, it wasn’t even a great goal-scoring opportunity for his team.
Shaughnessy added: “At the time I did think it was a penalty but I have not seen it again.
“Our player said that he has grabbed his jersey and I think they would have been claiming for it as well.
“I think over a whole season it evens itself out in the end. We have had some decisions go against us and I think we played well enough to deserve a draw really.
“I don’t think they created many chances.
“We didn’t defend the cross for the first goal and then it was a setpiece for the second but other than that they didn’t they really trouble us much.
“It seemed that both sets of fans felt the ref was against them but none of us can say for certain (if it was a penalty).
“They might think it was definitely not a penalty but the ref only gets one look at it.
“We had missed the last three anyway so it wasn’t really a big chance for us!”
At the start of the season, many pundits could not see past Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs occupying the top five spots in the league.
But instead, the Premiership has shown nothing can be taken for granted with Saints currently in fifth and Killie sitting proudly at the top of the league.
Shaughnessy added: “With Celtic and Rangers both playing in Europe every Thursday or whatever, the league is definitely more competitive.
“All the other teams are improving a lot. Kilmarnock are doing brilliantly and are top.
“Steve Clarke has done a great job there since he came in.
“We are doing well, Livi have done well since they came up and you expect Hearts and Hibs to do the same.
“Everyone is pushing on and Aberdeen probably have to hit a bit of form even although they have just played in a cup final.
“But the league is definitely getting stronger and it is probably a bit more high profile now especially with Steven Gerrard coming in and Celtic doing what they have been doing.
“It seems to have more people paying it a bit more attention and maybe giving the league more credit than it had in the past.
“I think it is a very competitive league even although it is not normally as close as it is this year.
“It is a case if you turn up on the day, you fancy your chances.
“It is definitely good for the league.”