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The man behind the mask – Craig Conway looking to kick on after broken nose

Rangers v St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Ian McNichol)

St Johnstone midfielder Craig Conway will wear a custom-made protective mask against St Mirren with gratitude.

The 35-year-old broke his nose in the 1-1 Premiership draw against Motherwell at McDiarmid Park last month.

He returned to action off the bench in the Betfred Cup quarter-final tie against Dunfermline at East End Park on Tuesday night sporting a makeshift mask and the experience was not one he wanted to repeat, albeit he was delighted Saints won on penalties to set up a semi-final meeting with Hibernian.

Ahead of the trip to Paisley on Saturday, Conway said: “That was just a temporary mask. It wasn’t comfortable, it was a nightmare.

“I wouldn’t like to wear that again. It is terrible looking.

“I have never had to wear glasses before but I can imagine that’s how it feels because it was steaming up and I could only see straight forward, like tunnel vision.

“But I have a proper mask now, a custom fit one which I will probably have to wear for the next six to eight weeks.

“It is a bit strange but the one I have now is a helluva lot better than the one I wore the other night.

“It is small price to pay. If I can play I will wear anything. I will wear a Superman outfit if I need to, to play.

“I am just happy to be back playing and if I have to wear a mask then so be it.

“I got a bit of stick from my team-mates but that is alright. I can give it out so I can take it.

“The injury was frustrating but I am back now and looking to get properly back into it.”

St Mirren shocked Rangers with a late winner in their Betfred Cup clash in Paisley on Wednesday night and with the Buddies playing Livingston in the other semi-final, Conway believes the trophy is up for grabs.

The former Dundee United, Cardiff and Blackburn player said: “That’s what the cup is all about. It is a great result for them.

“It opens up the cup for anybody to win it.

“If you are going to win a cup you have to play the best teams and obviously Hibs are a tough game. But as I said before, the cup is wide open.

“I think if you spoke to them individually, anybody would fancy their chances. We will fancy our chances and hopefully we can get into a final.”

First of all, Conway is hoping ninth-placed St Johnstone can get up the league table.

He said: “They (St Mirren) will be flying high after their victory the other night and we want to bounce back from the defeat against Livingston (last weekend) so it probably sets it up for an exciting game.”