St Johnstone trio doubtful for semi-final clash with Hibs

Murray Davidson is a doubt with a hip problem. Picture: SNS
Murray Davidson is a doubt with a hip problem. Picture: SNS
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St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has already picked his provisional Scottish League Cup semi-final team - but it is missing three major injury doubts.

Chris Millar is not expected to return from a hamstring injury in time for the League Cup clash against Hibernian on Saturday, while both Murray Davidson and Dave Mackay have hip problems.

Nothing will happen before the weekend. Michael is in the team. Team A, team B or team C.

Tommy Wright

But Wright stressed that Rangers target Michael O’Halloran would be in the team at Tynecastle no matter what transpires this week.

Mackay was rested during St Johnstone’s 3-1 defeat at Celtic Park on Saturday but his hip was still causing him problems when he reported for training on Monday morning, while Davidson went off injured at Parkhead.

Wright said: “Dave Mackay, Murray Davidson and Chris Millar are all extremely doubtful.

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“Murray was struggling this morning. The good thing about Murray is he was ruled out at the start of the season for four months and came back quickly, so we will wait and see how he is.”

Wright added: “I know my team now, barring injuries. If some of them make a recovery, I know what will change. But I have a team now with everyone that is fit and available that we will work on.”

Wright has been looking to sign a left-winger but he said: “We’ll have nobody in by the weekend.”

O’Halloran was left out of the team that drew with Hamilton on January 16 after being the subject of two failed bids by Rangers but was back in at Parkhead after the Ibrox club failed to make another move.

When quizzed about potential exits, Wright said: “Nothing will happen before the weekend. Michael is in the team. Team A, team B or team C.”

The Saints boss is not too impressed with the timing of the last four with the transfer window closing 48 hours after his game.

“I know the chairman is not very happy with it,” he said. “I think the League Cup should maybe be more condensed in terms of when it starts and finishes. It should maybe be a competition that is done before Christmas. It’s certainly going to start earlier next season.

“The time period between the quarter-final and semi-final is too long and to have it on the weekend before the transfer window closes is not ideal for clubs.”

Mackay has not given up hope of making the game but he vowed to play a captain’s role whatever his fate.

The defender said: “I’ve been struggling a little bit the last couple of weeks with a little stiffness in my hip. It has been restricting me a little bit. Hopefully it clears up in time for the semi but if not I will just have to deal with it.

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“I had surgery in the summer on my hip and it’s been great up until recently. I don’t know if it’s the surface that we have had to train on, the soft ground, whether that’s a factor, but it probably just needs a bit of rest to recover. I never really had a full pre-season so it has maybe just caught up with me.

“The physio has been working on me the last few weeks and it’s been improving slightly, but when you play a game you’re really struggling to move for a couple of days after.

“I don’t think it’s related to the surgery, it’s just general tightness and it feels muscular. It will settle down, it’s just whether it settles down quickly enough.”

The 35-year-old added: “I will still be in the dressing room before the game if I’m not available, we will be away on the Friday staying in a hotel and I’ll be there as well.

“I will still try and play as big a part as possible. Hopefully I don’t miss the game but if I do I will try and be there to support the guys as much as I can.”

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