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Sport Steven Anderson hopes Liam Craig can surpass his club appearance record

19:10  02 march  2021
19:10  02 march  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Steven Anderson watched with a smile on Sunday.

St Johnstone’s record appearance holder scaled the highest of heights with the Perth club. He knows how it feels to win national silverware.

The legendary central defender, who netted in the 2014 Scottish Cup win, was delighted that the class of 2021 was also able to write their names into the history books.

This first-ever League Cup victory was special on so many fronts. One of the most refreshing - and emotional - sights was viewing long-serving midfielder Liam Craig finally get his hands on a trophy.

He had come close on so many occasions throughout his impressive career and was signed with Hibs when Saints triumphed seven years ago.

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Anderson said: “I spoke to Liam on Monday and congratulated him. I am delighted for him.

“He obviously missed out on the Scottish Cup when he moved to Hibs. When he moved back to St Johnstone, Hibs won the cup.

“I always wound him up about that. I’d said: ‘Any chance you’d leave St Johnstone so we could win another cup?’

“But, really, I’m delighted for him. He has been a great servant.

“I understand the occasion and what it means to Liam. Only he will be able to tell you about the emotions.

“But he deserves this. He is a model professional and that is what St Johnstone is built on. Liam has worked hard for this over the years.”

Anderson made 441 appearances for Saints, the most in the club’s history. Craig is closing in and has now made 423.

“Records are there to be broken,” Anderson said. “Hopefully he does break it.

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“Liam is the kind of player who will try and play as long as he can. I hope he does get another year and kicks on.

“Age is only a number if you keep yourself ticking over. He will and never usually gets an injury.

“He might even move into a player-coach role, but I'm sure he’ll still be there.”

As many have touched upon, a downside to Sunday was that Murray Davidson did not recover in time from a calf injury to take to the field at Hampden. He was there proudly watching from the stand and rightfully received a winners’ medal.

“I’m gutted for Muzz,” Anderson said.  “I spoke to him as well. He was hoping to be ready for the final.

“Muzz has been an unbelievable servant to St Johnstone and I hope he gets that recognition.

“He’s not the kind of player who would want to be up there with the trophy on Sunday. The boys would need to push him up.

“He doesn’t want the limelight but it showed how much the boys appreciate him in the dressing room. A good lad and a good character.

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“The celebrations were brilliant from the boys.

“It would’ve added to it if the crowd was there but hopefully they get a day when everyone turns out in Perth and the cup is lifted.”

The man who lifted the trophy at Hampden, 24-year-old captain Jason Kerr, was beaming from ear to ear.

Anderson said: “Jason is impressive. I watched the semi-final too and it was a great header from him.

“He is a big boy and aggressive so he’ll get chances and will score goals from set-plays. I’m just delighted he did on that day.

“He is the captain and that brings responsibility.

“But every player on that pitch needs to be a leader, whether by setting an example or by voice. Everyone needs to be together.

“I’m delighted to see everyone lift the trophy. It was great to see the club win another cup.

“The performance in a final doesn’t really matter. It’s all about winning the game. It doesn’t matter how you do it.

“It might have been scrappy. But you need to win these scrappy games.

“It’s unbelievable for the boys who have won two major trophies in the last seven years.”

Manager Callum Davidson has, clearly, played a huge role in both of the club’s major cup wins. He was assistant to Tommy Wright in 2014 and now, in his first season in charge, led the club to League Cup glory.

“It was similar to Tommy Wright. Winning a trophy in the first season,” said Anderson, who is now with Forfar Athletic and on the road to recovery from a ruptured achilles.

“I know Cal well and he is a very good coach, has good mannerisms and knows how to manage people. That’s the biggest thing for me.

“It’s okay winning a cup, but now they have got to look forward and get as high up the league as possible.

“I know it’s crazy thinking like that after winning a cup. But it’s the nature of the beast in football. You need to look at the next game.

“Cal is just a very good manager and hopefully there is more success to come.

“There is nothing to stop Saints and you will always be looking for better. Cal will always look for better.”

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