Hampden double with Saints ‘would be greatest achievement’

The St Johnstone boss is hoping to reach a second final in his debut season.

Hampden double with Saints ‘would be greatest achievement’ SNS Group

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson believes leading the team to a second Hampden final would be among the greatest achievements of his career.

Davidson has already experienced a memorable first season in management, having taken over from Tommy Wright and led the side through the difficulties of football during a pandemic to a historic moment when the Perth side lifted the League Cup in February.

The Scottish Cup has proven to be another happy hunting ground for Davidson’s team, who have knocked out Rangers on the way to setting up Sunday’s semi-final against St Mirren.

The former left-back, who earned 19 international caps with Scotland and starred for Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers, says further success would be a career high.

“If you look at my record as a football player, in cup competitions it was horrendous,” he said. “Maybe I’m getting a reward for that.

“It would be up there with probably one of the best achievements to get there, especially with a team such as St Johnstone, who are very close to me.

“It would mean a lot.

“I just want to try and get there first and foremost, then hopefully we can have another conversation in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Having lifted silverware already this season, the manager admitted to having spent some time imagining a historic double.

“You do let your mind drift to it a little bit,” he said. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t and it’s just human nature. But we’ve got a difficult task coming up and I think the players are well focused on what they want to do and what they want to achieve.

“We just need to put a good performance in on Sunday and give ourselves a chance.”

The knockout competitions aren’t the only success the first time manager can point to this season, with a top six finish in the Premiership guaranteed in a season where his first priority was avoiding the drop.

“Did I think any of this was realistically possible when I took over? Probably not,”he said. “If you’d looked at St Johnstone’s history at that point, we’d won one Scottish Cup in 2014 and that was it.

“It was always going to be a really tough job taking over from Tommy, who was so successful.

“I was just trying to make sure we stayed in the league. I’m not a negative person – I’m actually quite a positive person – but staying in the league was first and foremost.

“From late December onwards, the players have been brilliant and turned what could have been a difficult season into a phenomenal one.”

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