Cillian Sheridan focused on CSKA Sofia return

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Cillian Sheridan celebrates his goal at Rugby Park on Saturday
Sheridan celebrates his winning goal at Kilmarnock on Saturday

Cillian Sheridan hopes he can help St Johnstone be this season's "surprise package" but admits his priority is to become a success at CSKA Sofia.

The on-loan striker has scored four goals in three games as Saints enjoy a good run of form.

While Sheridan believes St Johnstone can retain a lofty league position, he has ambitions of becoming a key player at his parent club in Bulgaria.

"Ideally, I'd want to be playing for my team in Sofia," he told BBC Scotland.

"But that's not happening at the minute, so I've come away to get games and in January I'll have to see where I am."

Sheridan is now in his second loan spell at St Johnstone, having gone there initially while under contract at Celtic.

He also played for Motherwell and Plymouth on loan and admits his nomadic career-path is far from ideal.

But he says a lack of opportunities at CSKA Sofia - though he did rack up 26 games last season - ultimately led him to seek a temporary move again.

"I had a year to get used to it [Sofia], I was settling in but on the football side of it, there was a change of manager and then I wasn't playing," he added.

"Things like that happen in football that are outwith your control, so it was really just a chance to come and play again."

The Irishman's blossoming partnership with Francisco Sandaza has helped fire St Johnstone up the league and, on current form, the Saints look a good bet for a top-six finish, which Sheridan believes is the minimum they should aim for.

"If you're going in to avoid relegation and then play out meaningless games once the split comes, I don't think it's very ambitious," he continued.

"We've been quietly getting along with our games kind of going under the radar, so it's nice to get up to fourth [St Johnstone have since been leapfrogged by Hearts].

"A lot of teams fancy themselves to get up to third and fourth - it's nearly different every year now so you never know, hopefully we could be the surprise package this year.

"But we need to keep our feet on the ground, keep working hard and hopefully we'll get the rewards through all that."