St Johnstone's Scotland links can wait with top six place at stake, says captain Jason Kerr

Shaun Rooney has been tipped for a Scotland call-up by St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr after the winger’s ‘unstoppable’ performance in the Betfred Cup final.

Shaun Rooney has been touted for Scotland selection after some blistering performances for St Johnstone. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Shaun Rooney has been touted for Scotland selection after some blistering performances for St Johnstone. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

But his Saints team-mates will not be allowing any international distractions when they are back in league action against Hamilton for the midweek match moved to accommodate their Hampden appearance.

Youthful captain Kerr is another who has been tipped for Steve Clarke’s attention as part of a defence which shut-out Livingston on Sunday – however maintaining that form against Hamilton is key to keep impressing anyone watching, Kerr has insisted, and national selection can follow later.

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“When you win a cup final there will be attention on you,” the 24-year-old said. “But I feel we need to keep our feet on the ground and make sure we keep playing well. There will be a lot of people watching but we have to concentrate on our own performances.

St Johnstone's Shaun Rooney and Jason Kerr (l-R) with the Betfred Cup trophy (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

“I think [Shaun Rooney] is massive candidate for Scotland. Just look at how well he’s done this season. He always pops up with an important goal and he’s definitely been the man of the Betfred tournament.

“He’s a top, top player and you’d like to think there’s a good chance he can get a call-up. On his day he’s unstoppable.”

Kerr became only the second Saints captain to lift a national trophy, after Dave Mackay in 2014’s Scottish Cup triumph and the players will approach the rest of the season on a high.

"It feels like it’s not sunk in yet but it’s a real honour for me to lift that trophy. It was weird at the time. A couple of seconds before I lifted it, I was thinking ‘wow, I’m actually lifting a cup for St Johnstone’. It’s a massive moment for me, and a massive moment for the club as well. I’m chuffed to bits.

St Johnstone's Jason Kerr lifts the Betfred Cup trophy after Rooney's header gave the Perth side a 1-0 win.

“It would have been magnificent if the fans had been there. They’ve had a lot of good years now. They would obviously have wanted to be there on Sunday and then celebrate with us back in Perth but I’m sure they still enjoyed their day and proud of what we’ve achieved.”

From the highs of Hampden, it’s a league clash with bottom of the table Hamilton for the team, being billed as Scotland’s second most successful in recent years on account of their two trophies in the past decade.

“It just shows you how good St Johnstone are and how consistent they have been over the last 10 years,” Kerr added. “To be the second most successful club in Scotland over the last 10 years is magnificent. It’s really good that those stats are there. To back it up with a trophy win is outstanding for the club.

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“Obviously you enjoy your night and you have a couple of beers, but you have to recover as much as you can because you want to push for the top six.

“It will be a tough game. They’re scrapping to stay up and we certainly won’t be underestimating them.

“We have our own ambitions and we need to get three points. We think we’ve got a good chance of doing it if we play well in these next three games, starting at Hamilton.”

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