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St Johnstone’s Craig Conway sets sights on top six after Hampden triumph

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

St Johnstone midfielder Craig Conway is focused on following up their Betfred Cup success by securing the top-six place he feels their play merits.

Conway set up Shaun Rooney’s winner against Livingston on Sunday but celebrations were kept under control not just because of coronavirus restrictions.

Saints have a crucial Scottish Premiership game at bottom club Hamilton on Wednesday and manager Callum Davidson vowed to let his players have an hour of celebrations in the Hampden changing room before getting them home ahead of training on Monday.

Saints are six points behind sixth-placed St Mirren but have a game in hand and home games against Hibernian and Ross County to follow their trip to Lanarkshire.

They also have form on their side, having only lost to Rangers and Celtic in 2020.

Conway said: “In my opinion, the way we play and the way we have been playing recently, we deserve to be in the top six. Or I think we are a top-six side.

“But you have got to get results and Hamilton are fighting for their lives and trying to stay up. It will be a tough game obviously, so we have got to prepare right.

“We have to focus. We know we have got a realistic chance of getting in the top six so hopefully we can get a result on Wednesday and kick on from there.”

Davidson could utilise his squad on Wednesday following the emotional occasion at Hampden and Conway made sure to speak to the man he displaced at the national stadium, Guy Melamed.

The Israeli striker had scored twice against Motherwell the weekend before the final but made way for Conway in a tactical switch.

The 35-year-old, who scored a double for Dundee United in the 2010 Scottish Cup final, said: “I don’t envy a manager’s position to be honest when he’s picking a cup final team.

“I obviously didn’t play the last game against Motherwell, but I think with my experience of having been through this, I always perform well at Hampden for some reason.

“But if I was the likes of Guy Melamed, who scored two the previous weekend and doesn’t play, I would be gutted.

“But he’s a top lad. I spoke to him after the game and he took it on the chin brilliantly. He will kick on from that.

“But it’s a selfish game so I was happy to play and I knew I would do a job.”