Soccer

St Johnstone win a fitting ending for Murray Davidson – Steven MacLean

Murray Davidson was playing his final game for St Johnstone (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Murray Davidson was playing his final game for St Johnstone (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Steven MacLean insists St Johnstone’s 2-0 win over Livingston was the fitting ending for departing chairman Steve Brown and club legend Murray Davidson.

Drey Wright opened the scoring after 17 minutes when he capitalised on some poor defending from the visitors to rifle home from close range, before Chris Kane climbed off the bench to bag his first goal in 16 months after being sidelined with a long-term injury.

MacLean, who was handed the manager’s job on a permanent basis on Saturday after a successful spell as caretaker, admits plans are already in place for next season and is aiming to take the McDiarmid Park side to the next level.

He said: “It was excellent. Before the game you’re a bit apprehensive as there is nothing on the game but with the chairman leaving and it being Murray’s (Davidson) last game, I’m just absolutely delighted for everyone concerned with the football club that we managed to send them off with a win.

“I am always planning and trying to get better as a coach and manager. We set standards every day and I’m very proud of the players as they’ve given me absolutely everything, but we will be looking to improve.

“I won’t be resting on three wins and two draws, I want to keep pushing on and win every game going forward. I want to play attacking, front-foot football and want to enjoy football.

“I’ve already sat down with the new board already, so we have got plans in place ready to go and also have ideas as you’ve always got to look to improve. There’s players in contract and also out of contract so there’s a lot of work to be done and it’s going to be busy but I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ll speak to players who are in and out of contract. There will be tough decisions to make but they will be ones that I feel are right to try and make the football club better.”

Livingston boss David Martindale said: “Our away form, I am not going to sugar-coat it, has been wretched.

“Our away form has been absolutely horrible.

“I have tried different formations and different personnel. There were a lot of personnel missing today but it was an opportunity for others to go in and show they can come in and play for me.

“There are a few leaving but the budget still needs to be cut.

“I have found ways to cut that, but something will need to come off the squad budget.

“I am probably looking at another four or five players that I feel can come and play with me every week. Three or four probably need to move on.

“They have been told who they are, and their game time is going to be limited next season. They probably won’t be in training with the group, and it is best for them and the group if they move on. I will be looking at four or potentially five, but finances play a huge part in that.”