THE WORLD Cup may throw up offers for Jason Scotland which could lure him away from McDiarmid Park in the summer—but the Trinidad and Tobago star would be more than happy to return to unfinished business in Perth next season and fire the club into the SPL.
A season that could barely have started with less promise for Scotland, when he was refused a work permit to re-sign for Dundee United, has ended on a personal high.
This week he received a nomination for first division player of the year, quickly following on from the news that he has been named in the provisional Trinidad and Tobago squad for the World Cup in Germany.
All that could have made the season more memorable would have been a first-division winners’ medal.
The league’s top scorer admitted, “With two games to go we’re gutted to be only playing for second place against Hamilton tomorrow, rather than for the title.
“We still need to give our all to put in a good performance for our fans.
“It hasn’t quite worked out for us this season and we have just missed out on promotion but hopefully next time we will finish top.
“If I get a game in the World Cup other clubs might be watching—but I’ll be happy to come back here and win the first division with St Johnstone.
“I haven’t won anything in Scotland and I’d be delighted to help the club into the SPL.
“I wasn’t getting a regular game last season with Dundee United and then came all the work permit stuff, but I’ve come back and scored goals.
“People might say I can only do it in the first division, but I would like to prove that I am good enough for the SPL, playing in a team where I get a good run of games from the start.
“It would be different playing with St Johnstone in the SPL to coming on as a sub with United.
“The season wasn’t looking good for me after I was refused a work permit. I didn’t know where I would end up playing football after that.
“St Johnstone showed me a light at the end of the tunnel and now I’ve been nominated for player of the year and I’ll hopefully be going to the World Cup.
“The season has ended on a high note after a bad start.”
Scotland could be excused for making avoiding injury in Saints’ last two games his priority, so that his World Cup dream isn’t shattered.
The in-form attacker pointed out however that all he can do is play his normal game without fear.
He said, “You watch Sky Sports News and see that so many players are getting injured like Michael Owen and Totti, and could possibly miss the World Cup.
“But an injury could happen at any time in training.
“I’ve got my back against defenders most of the time during games and one of them could go through me, but it’s not something you can think about during a game.
“I want to show good form in the last two games and then in the World Cup training camp so hopefully I get into the team for the first match in Germany.”
Martin Hardie is suspended for this afternoon’s match, while John Hendry and Steven Milne are doubtful.
Ryan McCann and Kevin Fotheringham have returned to training but Owen Coyle admitted it “would be a gamble to throw them in.”
Coyle will turn his mind to who is staying and going next week.
For now the priority is securing second spot in the table.
He said, “It’s very important that we finish the season off with a good performance in front of our own fans.
“Our last league defeat at home was in August and we want to go into next season on the back of a good finish to this one.”
Hamilton manager Billy Reid, meanwhile, has a number of injuries and will make a late selection.