Callum Davidson: Shaun Rooney will not get special treatment with new contract

Livingston v St Johnstone – Betfred Cup – Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson insists there will be no special treatment for Hampden hero Shaun Rooney when it comes to issuing new contracts.

Rooney is the talk of Perth after heading home Saints’ winner in last weekend’s Betfred Cup final.

But the former Inverness defender – who only nailed down a regular right-back slot in January following Danny McNamara’s return to Millwall – is preparing to enter the final year of his contract this summer.

Davidson has already talked the 24-year-old up as a potential Scotland candidate and knows other teams may be sitting up and taking notice of his abilities in both boxes.

However, the McDiarmid manager has made it clear there are no plans at present to hand Rooney a bumper new deal.

“You say he’s man of the moment but I’d say all the players who played on Sunday are men of the moment,” said Davidson. “They stood up to the challenge on Sunday and the semi-final too.

“No-one talks about the great cross Craig Conway put in for Shaun’s goals in the semi and the final.

“Shaun has done well but he’s part of the team for me.

“As regards his contract situation, he’s just fought his way into the team after Danny McNamara left. I’m absolutely delighted for him to be the match-winner but for me it’s about the rest of the team too – not just Shaun.”

Asked if it would give the club more security to have the defender tied down on a longer deal, Davidson replied: “I don’t really know how to answer that one because he’s only just broken into the team and still has a lot to learn.

“Yeah he’s attracting attention because he’s scored goals. But he’s predominantly a right centre-half or wing back. He has these little bits to his game but I think he can get better.

“It’s something we’ll look at. But we look at all players to see where they are and Shaun will be treated no different.

“Just because he scored the goal in a cup final means he won’t be treated any different from anyone else.”

Saints’ top-six hopes no longer rest in their own hands following Wednesday’s draw with Hamilton.

Davidson’s team welcome Hibernian to Perth but a surprise win for St Mirren at Ibrox would effectively kill off hopes of making the upper half of the table by the split.

But the St Johnstone boss admits he is flashing concerned looks both up and down the table, with his side only nine points above the drop zone.

“As much as we want to get into the top six, it’s also about making sure we stay safe,” he said.

“It’s such a tight league and it puts you in a real pressure situation. I’m glad we have points on the board just now but for me looking downwards I’d like a couple more wins to make sure we stay safe.

“Is there less pressure on us to make the top six because we won the cup? No. I put pressure on myself and the players.

“I want to be successful. If we don’t make the top six, I then want to finish 7th.

“That’s how I look at it and how the players do too.

“The cup was a massive bonus for the club but the real job is about finishing as high up the league as we can.”

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