St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus hopes a win in Saturday’s Tayside derby will set him up nicely for a festive trip home to see the family.
While many people will be settling down to Christmas excesses with their relatives tomorrow, Mannus and his team-mates will be taking it relatively easy as they prepare for yet another important game at the weekend.
Dundee United are the visitors to Perth on Saturday, and the Northern Ireland international shot-stopper revealed the fact he is heading home to see his family the following day would make victory all the more sweet.
“I’ll get home on Sunday for a day to see my family,” he explained.
“They have come over in the past but this time it didn’t suit them.
“Hopefully I can get for a bit longer in January when we have a free weekend.
“Family is important to me but I don’t really mind being away at Christmas.
“I make time to see them during the year.
“It’s the life I have chosen and I’m not going to complain about it.
“I can’t complain.
“There are a lot of people have it harder than me.
“There are plenty guys away from home over Christmas, on oil rigs or with the military.
“Rory Fallon was here last year and he hadn’t seen his family back in New Zealand for a couple of years.
“There are foreign lads in the league living further away from their families than me.
“The only reason I want to get home at some stage is because my brother Paul is over from Canada.
“He gets back on Christmas Eve but only for a week.
“I’ll try to get back to see him because otherwise I only see him in the summer.”
Saints are in a rich vein of form at the moment and are unbeaten in seven matches heading into this weekend’s game at McDiarmid Park.
Mannus has played his part in all of those games, and managed to shut out Inverness in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Inverness.
“Another clean sheet and a win to keep our run going in the derby would be nice,” he continued.
“We are delighted with our recent record, with three successive clean sheets.
“The game against Inverness was the quietest I have been for a long time.
“They are a good team and have scored a lot of goals so it shows you how well we have done.
“The lads in front of me have been excellent.”