Paisley Daily Express

Fraser doesn’t want to miss a minute


If there’s one game that players want to avoid being picked for a random drugs test, it’s a cup final when you’ve ended up on the winning side.

That’s exactly the situation that befell Saints defender Marcus Fraser when he lifted the League Cup with Ross County in 2016.

While he was able to celebrate the historic win on the pitch, the champagne-soaked frivolity in the dressing room was all over by the time he’d mustered up a sample.

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin found himself in the exact same predicamen­t when the Buddies won the League Cup back in 2013.

Fraser insists he

wouldn’t mind going through the same again if it meant he could replicate the feeling of winning a major trophy with the Buddies, having yesterday given the club a huge boost by signing a new contract which sees him tied to the Saints until 2023.

He said:“Back in 2016, we lifted the cup and the doctor came and told me I needed to get drug tested.

“I said no problem. I thought it would be quick and easy, but I ended up in there for about an hour.

“I wasn’t able to go and, by the time I got back in to the dressing room, it was only the kit man left. There was champagne all over the place, but there was one bottle left for me to drink on my own.

“The boys had a good laugh about it and the main thing was I was part of the celebratio­ns on the pitch.

“We had a function at the club after it as well with all my family there and that was brilliant.

“It is probably up there with the highlights of my career.

“I’m sure lifting that silverware will be a moment I’ll look back on in years to come.

“Would it be special to do it again? Of course. Maybe without the drugs test.

“That’s something you think about when you get to a semi-final. But we know we can’t get carried away. It doesn’t get much tougher than St Johnstone right now, but it’s a game we can definitely win.

“It would be special on a personal level to win two trophies and it is something that motivates me. I want to push hard every day.

“At the start of the season you want a good league campaign and to see if you can get a cup run.

“We got to one semi-final and it didn’t work out the way we wanted. But we’ve got another chance.

“It’s brilliant for the club and speaks highly of the players getting to this stage again. It would be absolutely massive to go one step further.”

Fraser, a mainstay of the St Mirren defence since joining last summer, was delighted to put pen to paper on a new two-year deal ahead of tomorrow’s huge Scottish Cup semi final clash with St Johnstone.

The full-back insists he and his teammates have learned a lot from their disappoint­ing 1-0 loss to Livingston at Hampden in the League Cup in January.

Now he’s fully confident his side can go one better and reach this month’s final by firing themselves past the Perthshire Saints.

Fraser said:“The club has been a good fit for me and the manager has been brilliant with me, letting me go and play within his gameplan.

“He’s taken the shackles off and I’ve enjoyed being on the front foot.

“I’m happy on and off the park, so it was a no brainer for me to sign a new deal and I’m just looking forward to the future.

“Being here has been better than I’d anticipate­d. When I signed I didn’t really know too many of the players personally but, after having worked with them day in and day out and playing alongside them so often, I can see the quality we have.

“Next season, when we add a few more players to the squad, it will give us even more competitio­n for places and that should help us move on from this platform we’ve built.

“What did we learn from the Livi game? Scoring first is massive in these games and we gave away a cheap goal.

“We huffed and puffed and Livingston are very good at holding on to a lead.

“That early cheap goal sticks in my mind, as it’s so hard to get back in to the game with teams defending for their lives.

“We can’t give ourselves a lot of work to do.

“There’s a lot of players here who have played in big games so we’re really looking forward to it.

“We’ve been buzzing in training and we’re ready to go.”

 ??  ?? Unlucky Marcus Fraser
Unlucky Marcus Fraser

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