Jan 29 2013 by Alison Lowson, Perthshire Advertiser
Club captain Dave Mackay yesterday signed a two year extension, committing himself to St Johnstone until the summer of 2015.
It is a huge boost to manager Steve Lomas, who looks unlikely to get any reinforcements in the McDiarmid door before this week’s transfer window closes, despite losing winger Peter Pawlett back to Aberdeen and cutting loose forgotten striker Craig Beattie in recent days.
Mainstay Mackay (32) is hoping the Perth club manages to bring in a fresh face to bolster the push for another top six finish but he also has an eye on next season, with Liam Craig already committed to Hibs and vice-captain Murray Davidson’s future still unclear.
Mackay, who confessed Saints had to atone for two “horror shows” against tomorrow’s home opponents, Aberdeen, said: “I’m delighted to get it sorted out. When you are getting towards the end of any contract there is always a worry that you could pick up an injury and you could be left in limbo.
“It’s always good to have your future sorted out. We have a few players going out of contract here and obviously Liam is going to Hibs in the summer, I think Murray will be leaving and Craig Beattie has just left.
“But hopefully most of the lads will be here next season. You don’t want big changes and a huge turnaround every season, facing the prospect of 10 or more players changing.
“I know the club is having talks with a few of the boys and it would be good to keep most of the core here.”
Mackay joined from Livingston in 2009 with Murray Davidson and has clocked up nearly 150 starts.
He noted: “There are players who have been here three or four years and that continuity has been important to the club’s success. It has worked for us so far.
“Hopefully we can bring in someone this week just to freshen it up a bit. That side of things is down to the manager and the chairman.
“But if there are any new faces brought in they will certainly be made welcome and hopefully improve us.”
Yesterday Lomas was preparing his trimmed-down squad for the visit from the Dons, seeking the three points required to leapfrog the Pittodrie side into fifth place, and close in on Hibs in fourth.
He admitted: “Dave signing again is a great bit of news for us. He’s our club captain and Mr Reliable. He brings a coolness and consistency to the team.
“Dave has been a great player for this club. You know what you get from him and as a manager that’s essential. He’s never anything lower than a seven out of ten man every week.
“He isn’t a bawler and a shouter but he’s got a lot of respect from the other players in the dressing room and he’s a winner. “
On the contract front, Lomas confirmed the club has been trying to fix-up several players whose deals run out in the summer. But the picture has been clouded by the club’s financial worries.
He said: “We are speaking to Frazer Wright and Chris Millar about new deals. Rowan Vine is another one I’d love to keep him because he’s quality but ultimately it will come down to the budget.”