Craig determined to leave Euro gift

Liam Craig wants to leave St Johnstone a going-away present of a place in Europe before he joins Hibernian in the summer.

Last Updated: 02/04/13 at 19:31 Post Comment

Liam Craig: Wants to leave St Johnstone on a high

Liam Craig: Wants to leave St Johnstone on a high

The 26-year-old midfielder signed a pre-contract agreement with the Easter Road side in January but his continuing commitment to the Perth club was exemplified by his celebrations following his injury-time leveller against Dundee United at McDiarmid Park on Monday night.

The goal secured Steve Lomas' side a top-six finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League for the second successive season.

With a game against Inverness on Friday to go before the split, St Johnstone are in fifth place on 45 points, behind Ross County only on goal difference and Craig is looking to push Saints back among the European places again, following last year's sojourn when they lost to Turkish side Eskisehirspor in the second qualifier.

"I'd love to leave here in the summer with the team in Europe again," said the former Falkirk player. "That's what I'm aiming for.

"People might wonder if I still care about the club because I've signed elsewhere but I think the way I celebrated the goal shows what it means to me.

"I've loved my time here. It will be hard to walk away, St Johnstone have been a massive step in my career.

"This is a well-run club, we get looked after well and it's a great place to play your football.

"Now is the right time for me to move on but this club means a lot to me and I want to bow out on a high.

"Finishing in the top six two years in a row is a big achievement, no doubt about that.

"But with the squad we've got we would have been disappointed if we didn't make it in there.

"We got a taste of Europe last season and that's where we want to be again. We're striving for that now."

Craig admits there was an element of relief as well as pride about his goal given that he had been at fault when United opened the scoring through 17-year-old Ryan Gauld midway through the first half.

"I felt I owed it to the boys," he said.

"I gave the ball away on the half-way line and that caused their goal.

"The goal is up there in terms of importance. I missed a penalty against United in our first year back (in the SPL) and that cost us a place in the top six.

"I wouldn't say this was total payback but it's nice. I didn't have a great game but I was proud of the way we showed character.

"Going to Inverness on Friday needing a win wouldn't have been easy so we were hoping to avoid that.

"But it's done now, we're in the top six and we're looking to kick on now.

"We want to push ourselves further up the league."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Atleti, Arsenal and Liverpool target Vietto

Villarreal are reportedly attempting to renegotiate Luciano Vietto's contract to ward off interest from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sepp Blatter plans US trip for CONCACAF Gold Cup

Sepp Blatter is planning to visit the United States to attend next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

Mail Box

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

Francis Is Coq Of The North (London)

There is more praise for Mesut Ozil, but it's Francis Coquelin who gets the big love in the Mails. Plus Lazio, Wilshere swears (who cares?) and an over-capped England...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company