Callum Davidson hails survival as 'better than cup double' but never wants to go through stress again as St Johnstone equal club record
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has hailed his side’s achievement in saving their Premiership skins and claims it exceeds the club’s double cup success.
Davidson cut an emotional figure at the end after a trying season that included their Scottish Cup defence ending abruptly at the hands of fourth tier side Kelty Hearts.
They took it to the last possible moment to secure their Premiership salvation. After a goalless first-half, they scored four second half goals to secure an emphatic 6-2 aggregate win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The visitors failed in their bid to become the first side to negotiate every play-off round and earn promotion to the top flight the hard way.
Goals from substitute Stevie May, just after coming on at half-time, Cammy MacPherson, Callum Hendry and Shaun Rooney saw St Johnstone leave their best performance of the season until the last 45 minutes of the campaign. It means they have extended their run in the top flight to 13 seasons – which equals their best-ever stay.
“People have asked me about winning the two cups and staying in the league,” said Davidson.
“For me, this a bigger achievement. I know that might sound strange.
“But mentally, to play under pressure like this every single week after being bottom from January by quite a bit was incredibly tough. It’s important we get a good strong squad together for next season.
“We might lose a few players – Zander (Clark) is a definite one - but we need to replace them with quality. None of us want to go through something like that again.
“We need to make sure we get our recruitment right,” the manager added.
League and Scottish Cup hero Shaun Rooney scored a goal any striker would have been proud of at the end when he deftly clipped the ball over Mark Ridgers. The out-of-contact defender is one player Davidson will be fighting to keep.
“It was a fantastic, it came off his shin!” Davidson said. “But look where it starts, it’s back in his own 18-yard box.
“I’m actually shouting at him to get back! Just protect our 3-0 lead but it's come off his shin fantastically.”
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