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St Johnstone determined to get to Hampden for fans who missed out last season

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

St Johnstone are determined to get to Hampden for the supporters who watched their double cup success from home.

Manager Callum Davidson revealed their main driver for their Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Dundee on Wednesday would be giving their fans a day out at the national stadium.

Saints have won their only three major trophies since their fans were last at Hampden, for a Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Motherwell in 2011.

They won the Scottish Cup at Celtic Park in 2014 after beating Aberdeen in the semi-final at Ibrox, and fans were shut out of all four Hampden appearances last season amid the pandemic.

Saints have also suffered League Cup semi-final defeats at Easter Road and Tynecastle in the past decade.

Davidson said: “What we are focused on is trying to get the supporters to Hampden. They missed out last season.

“To get to Hampden again would be an unbelievable achievement in three cup competitions in a row. So that’s what we are focused on.”

Davidson agreed that the restricted celebrations were the only down side of their incredible season.

“I couldn’t party properly either,” he said. “But I think you’re right. For me that’s why you win trophies. For a town like Perth, to win the double and not really manage to celebrate it properly… Obviously things like the bus tour, going to the civic hall, these are all special moments that we weren’t able to do.

“Hopefully we can come through this tie and try to get to the final again.”

Davidson admits his players will need to cope with being seen as a scalp, mainly by opposing fans.

“Back in 2014, when Tommy (Wright) won the Scottish Cup and I was with him, teams changed their mindset when they were playing against us,” he said.

“It’s sometimes nice just to go under the radar and plug along and pick up results.

“This time people are probably taking a bit more notice of what we are doing. That’s part of being successful. You have to work out ways to win games of football.

“To be honest, I think it’s a stronger league this season. But there are definitely certain things that are different, it’s more with the crowds.

“Dundee United had 3,500 or 4,000 here and Rangers had a bit more, to come along and help their team. We probably notice the crowds want to beat us.

“It’s all credit to the players, it’s something we need to get used to. Wednesday night will be a great atmosphere.

“We competed pretty well without the crowds, now we have to compete with crowds.”