St Johnstone striker Graham Cummins has thanked the club for handing him an early Christmas present in the shape of a new contract despite the fact he has been out injured in recent weeks.
The 27-year-old, who has been a big hit at McDiarmid since signing a one-year deal during the summer after leaving Exeter City, yesterday put pen to paper on an extended deal that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2018 season.
Irishman Cummins, who infamously hit the headlines when he caught his eyelid in a training kit zipper soon after his arrival at McDiarmid, has now pledged to pay back Saints and manager Tommy Wright for showing their faith in him when he is finally over his hamstring injury.
The striker, who has netted six times so far this season, said: “Hopefully I can be back playing in the next week or so. You need to be training before going into matches.
“I’m not going to be rushing myself and do anything stupid. Contrary to what people might think, I am actually quite clever!
“We have been speaking (about a new deal) for a few weeks and I couldn’t wait to get it over the line. It’s great to get it all done before Christmas.
“The club is showing a lot of faith in me because I haven’t played for a few weeks. That shows their commitment and that means a lot to me.
“The gaffer and I have a very good relationship. He seems to understand I am maybe a different character to what he has had to deal with before.
“He knows my strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t look for something I can’t do.
“Since coming up here, everything has been just brilliant for me.
“This has been the best spell of my career since I came across the water from Ireland. I want that to continue. “
One of the reasons for Cummins becoming an instant success at Saints has been the way he has linked up with Steven MacLean with the pair forging a potent pairing.
He added: “For a while a lot of teams were just playing one up front so it has been good forming a partnership with Macca.
“He is a very intelligent player and he has been scoring plenty of goals. Hopefully we can keep it going.
“We have a semi-final to look forward to and we are pushing on in the league.
“We haven’t set ourselves a target. We just want to continue the good run we are on.
“The Celtic game (on Sunday) is one the lads will be up for. It is one of the toughest tests for us because we have been on such a good run.
“It’s the league leaders and it will set the bar to see where we are at just now. We have a tough run coming up and the games ahead are vitally important.”