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St Johnstone boss McInnes pens new contract

Derek McInnes has signed a two-year contract extension as St Johnstone manager, the Scottish Premier League club have announced.

McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty have committed themselves to the Perth club until 2013. It is a welcome boost for Saints, who won their first league match of the season last Saturday with a 2-1 win over St Mirren, and meet Queen of the South in the Co-operative Insurance Cup third round on Tuesday.

McInnes was appointed St Johnstone boss in November 2007 after Owen Coyle's departure to Burnley. The former Scotland midfielder led Saints to the 2008-09 First Division title and secured top-flight survival last term with an eighth-placed finish.

McInnes said on the club's official website: "I'm really grateful to the chairman for the opportunity he gave me in November 2007 and now to have our futures settled, allowing us to concentrate on the job in hand. I never anticipated it would be a problem.

"The chairman knew I wanted to extend my stay and thankfully he was of the same opinion. It was just a case of sitting down and getting it done. We want to make sure we are an established SPL club. Remember we had been out of the top division for seven years. We want to improve gradually year on year to enter the top six.''

Saints chairman Geoff Brown indicated the new contract does not mean McInnes won't eventually follow Coyle, now boss of Premier League side Bolton, to management at a higher level.

"I don't think our fans should believe Derek will be here forever and a day,'' added Brown. "I would expect him to go on and manage at a higher level. But if someone is looking to St Johnstone and our manager that must mean he is doing well here and ultimately that is the most important factor.''

Brown was thrilled with the contract. He added: "As far as this football club is concerned I regard this as our best signing of the lot. Derek has proved himself and we're delighted he has decided to commit himself for a longer period.

"In all my years with the club I've had a number of managers. Everyone has had their own ways, ideas and personalities. But Derek McInnes is now top of my list.''


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