It was his first 90 minutes in more than three months.

And St Johnstone stalwart Murray Davidson produced the expected performance full of determination and desire.

His work in the middle of the park alongside Liam Craig played a big part in helping Saints to secure European football on Saturday.

With minutes in the legs, Davidson now comes into contention for next weekend’s huge Scottish Cup final against Hibs.

Having missed out on the 2014 heroics and this season’s League Cup win, manager Callum Davidson will be taking all safety precautions - particularly in times of COVID-19 - to make sure his midfield man makes it.

“The lads have hardly trained the last two weeks so to get that effort, attitude and desire to get the result we needed was fantastic,” the Perth boss said.

“I wasn’t planning on playing Murray for 90 minutes. It’s just the way the game panned out with players. It’s all credit to him.

“He works extremely hard. You can see his sharpness wasn’t quite there.

“That’s why we decided to play Liam Craig, Stevie May and Murray because I think they needed that before the cup final.

“There was an element of risk to play them in order to get the result.”

Davidson added: “I’ll put Murray in full PPE gear, make sure he stays at home, comes to training and comes back again.

“You think I’m joking but I’m probably not, I think we all have to do it now.

“I’m just hoping for good fortune with Covid at the club and hopefully we are doing everything we can to make sure no one has got it or passed it on. We are praying no one else gets it.”

Covid concerns will understandably be in the back of Saints manager Davidson’s mind in the build-up to this weekend’s Hampden trip. But he is just so proud of his players.

“There are issues we have to deal with, testing procedures because there were cases last week,” he said. “Training has been pretty difficult.

“It’s not great, not ideal preparation but you saw the character we have to try and get a result.

“It’s a phenomenal achievement to finish fifth and compete for trophies. I’d have taken that.

“A phenomenal season whatever happens next week. I can’t ask any more of the players.

“It’s a really small group and the way they’ve played their football other than today was in a really positive manner.”

Davidson made sure to praise emergency loan goalkeeper Bobby Zlamal - who made a crucial save late in the day to keep the score at 0-0 against Livingston.

“Bobby’s character, all credit,” Davidson said. “To help us over the line, massive thanks to him. Hopefully we will have him next week.

“We’ll see how Elliott and Zander are when they come back.

“It might save me sleepless nights if I have him here as well so I’ll speak to the chairman and see if we can do something about it.”