How St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson could walk tall with no less than Stein, Ferguson, Smith, Struth, O'Neill and Rodgers
In his socks, Callum Davidson measures up at a modest 5ft 8ins.
Yet, today’s showpiece at Hampden gives the St Johnstone manager the chance to stand tall with giants that have gone before in his trade across the Scottish game. It has been well documented that the Perth club are seeking to become only the following club to complete a cup double in a season; after Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen. However, these three are the not only the most-trophy adorned teams in the country, but generally the most monied. St Johnstone aren’t even middling on both fronts. It means that were his side to succeed in upsetting Hibs this afternoon, Davidson’s cup double arguably would be more meritorious than at any time it has been completed – only 14 men having achieved it previously.
Covid-19 problems have laid St Johnstone low of late. Perhaps that is why the man stewarding the McDiarmid Park side doesn’t get too high about the possibility of being shoulder-to-shoulder with Scottish managerial heavyweights Jock Stein, Alex Ferguson, Bill Struth, Walter Smith, Brendan Rodgers, Martin O’Neill, Alex McLeish, Jock Wallace, Dick Advocaat, Neil Lennon, John Greig, Scott Symon, and joint managers Alex Smith and Jocky Scott. The pair hold the distinction of helming the Pittodrie team in 1989-90 as they became the last club outside of Glasgow – four years after Ferguson’s cup double success in the north – to do this knock-out competition twosome.
“If you asked anyone about a club like St Johnstone going to win a cup double…” said Davidson. “There are some unbelievable managers in that list from the Old Firm. For me, I don’t really think about it. I’m just enjoying the experience. Well, I haven’t enjoyed the last two weeks if I am honest with you, but I’ll go into Saturday and enjoy the experience because you don’t know when it’s going to happen again for a club like St Johnstone or myself. I’ll make sure the players enjoy it as well and we’ll give it our best shot to make history.”
As he was keen to stress his men already have made with their cup triumph of late February when asked about their chance to become legends. “[They] definitely [can],” he said of his European-place assured fifth place Premiership finishers. “They obviously became pretty special when they won the League Cup for the first time in our history. So the chance to try and do a double is huge, isn’t it? It’s massive. Again, though, I think the players know that. I’ve emphasised to the players that when you look back on your career, as I do, it’s what you win and what you achieve rather than certain other things.
“This is a big opportunity. They don’t come along very often for St Johnstone as we know. They managed to grasp the last one in the semi-final [win over Hibs] and final. And they have managed to win the semi-final again. So it’s all positive for me in what they have managed to achieve so far. Win or lose the final, it will have been a phenomenal season for St Johnstone and all the players.”
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