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Callum Davidson happy to have selection headache ahead of Betfred Cup final

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson welcomed the Hampden selection dilemmas his team gave him with their impressive 3-0 victory at Motherwell.

Saints warmed up for next Sunday’s Betfred Cup final against Livingston with an utterly dominant performance at Fir Park.

Striker Guy Melamed doubled his season tally with a brace, including a spectacular opener, and Jason Kerr drove home in between to boost Saints’ top-six hopes.

The Perth side suffered a fitness scare when David Wotherspoon went off with a tight groin, while Murray Davidson is battling to overcome a calf injury.

Liam Craig excelled though in Davidson’s recent position at the base of midfield, hitting the bar twice from long range.

Davidson’s bench highlighted the strength in depth at his disposal with Craig Conway, who was so impressive in the semi-final, 2014 Scottish Cup hero Stevie May, regular starter Scott Tanser, Craig Bryson and Michael O’Halloran among an experienced group. Glenn Middleton, who is cup-tied, also came on.

“It’s a great selection problem to have,” Davidson said. “You probably look at the likes of Callum Booth. He has not been in the team, Scott Tanser gets injured, and he’s come in and performed to a real high standard.

“Guy Melamed, Liam Craig, there are lots of players there pushing for a start.

“I’ll have a look at Hampden, have a look at Livingston and I always try to pick a team I think’s going to win the game and I will do that for Sunday.

“It’s great when you’ve got people like Glenn and Stevie May coming on.

“I think the difference between now and the start of the season is that we didn’t have as much depth in the striking department.”

Motherwell boss Graham Alexander warned his side were well and truly in a relegation battle after their second consecutive heavy home loss.

Alexander was without at least 14 players but the performance raised alarm bells after his side only mustered one shot at goal to the visitors’ 22.

“There’s lots of things when you get beat 3-0 at home on the back of a 4-1 defeat that you have got to be concerned about,” Alexander said.

“It can accumulate over time. This has not been a seven-day crisis, it’s been for a long time at the club, the issues.

“We have shown some light at the end of the tunnel in previous weeks with results and performances and our togetherness.

“The Hamilton game we were down to 10 men for 80 minutes but there’s no reasons for (the latest performance) apart from having some significant players missing.

“I think any team in the Premiership would miss those players, even teams at the top end, because they are major players for us as a club.

“But I don’t want it to be an easy excuse for anyone to say ‘we are missing Stephen O’Donnell, Allan Campbell, Declan Gallagher’.

“We have got to stand up and be counted as individuals and I don’t think we did that enough.”

O’Donnell will be back from suspension for Wednesday’s trip to St Mirren and Alexander hopes Campbell and Mark O’Hara will recover from illness, while Gallagher is still to return to training after a hamstring injury.