Inverness CT v St Johnstone: Saints contract boost

ST JOHNSTONE have signed Lee Croft and Steven MacLean on extended contracts.

Steven MacLean: Signed for two years. Picture: SNS

Winger Croft has signed a one-year deal for next season after impressing following his return to the club midway through the season.

Striker MacLean, who has hit ten goals this season despite missing four months with a knee injury, has signed for another two years.

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Manager Tommy Wright told the club’s official website: “It’s great news for the club and the players and a nice boost ahead of cup final week. Both players have done well for us and I am delighted to have them tied up.”

Some St Johnstone players might be forgiven for wanting tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership finale against Inverness out of the way but midfielder Gary McDonald is desperate to feature.

McDonald’s season looked to be over after he sustained a knee injury, but he fought back this month after a six-week lay-off and played a full game in Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Celtic.

That has given him hope of making St Johnstone’s William Hill Scottish Cup final team and McDonald is eager to stake his claim.

The 32-year-old said: “I had played most of the games so to get injured at this stage of the season wasn’t ideal but I’m just glad to be back now and looking to play a part at the end of the season.

“I was itching to get back playing, obviously the games are running out now.

“So I was fighting against time and it was good to get back. Playing 90 minutes was important.” Meanwhile, Inverness defender Danny Devine reminds himself how well his team have done this season whenever he thinks about the teams battling to remain in the Premiership.

Fifth place is up for grabs for the winners of tomorrow’s game at Caledonian Stadium, however a day earlier Hibernian and Kilmarnock will go head-to-head at Easter Road as they fight to avoid a relegation play-off with a Championship side.

All five teams in the bottom half other than relegated Hearts went into the final seven days of the campaign still in danger of the drop, and Devine believes that helps highlight Caley Thistle’s achievement in securing a second consecutive top-six place.

“You see some teams down the bottom who are battling it out to stay in the league and it shows you we have done a great job this year,” Devine said.

“When you finish in the top six it’s a real weight off your shoulders that you’re not going to be in that battle and you can play with that pressure off and just enjoy your football.”