Guy Melamed will be in the St Johnstone squad for Friday night’s clash with Kilmarnock, Callum Davidson has confirmed.
The deadline day signing impressed his manager in a squad bounce game at the weekend.
That performance, coupled with the fitness work Melamed has put in following his two-week quarantine, has convinced Perth boss Davidson that the Israeli striker is ready for his first Premiership match day, likely as a substitute.
“Guy will be involved on Friday now,” he said. “Whether he is fit enough to start is a different question.
“We will monitor him again this week and see how he is looking.
“There were a few goals scored in the game and he was on the scoresheet, along with my other strikers.”
The competition for places Davidson currently has across all positions helped ensure the squad match had a meaningful edge to it.
The weather did almost stop the game, though. It was really bad.
“We managed to get a good 60-minute game in,” he reported. “It was quite high intensity for the lads.
“I was pleased with how it went and pleased nobody got injured. All round it was a good exercise.
“The weather did almost stop the game, though. It was really bad. But we got finished before the heavier rain and wind.
“Sometimes you get these matches and people can switch off. But I thought their attitude was extremely good.
“The energy and movement was a credit to them. They are all fighting for places in the team.”
Saints have five games to play in 19 days as they seek to push up the Premiership table and secure progression to the knock-out stage of the Betfred Cup.
“It was also really important for the players to get a little rest,” said Davidson. “We’ve got the cup and a midweek game with Hibs coming up.
“I think most of them were fairly bored with their days off and that the ones with kids were delighted to get back in.
💙 | We are delighted to announce that – subject to international clearance – we have signed 27-year-old striker, Guy Melamed, on a one year deal.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) October 5, 2020
“I was able to switch off when I was assistant manager. But I don’t really switch off in the role I’m in now.
“I’m watching football all the time and at the moment it’s probably the main entertainment on the television for me.”
He added: “We’re undefeated in the last four games and we deserved to win the Dundee United game.
“We need to keep the momentum going and make sure we’re picking up points and also victories in the cup.
“These are big games. Friday first and foremost is the most important one.
“Then we’ll look towards the following two games where we’ll lose Danny McNamara and Ali McCann.”
It would be a big surprise if Melamed made it into the Saints starting line-up for the Killie match – or indeed any striker other than Stevie May. The selection of who to pair up with Murray Davidson in central midfield – Craig Bryson or Ali McCann – is likely to be a closer call.
I’m happy with how Craig did and have obviously been very pleased with Ali.
“There are decisions to make for Friday and that is what I want,” he said. “I don’t want to have easy decisions.
“I would rather that my job was difficult in that respect, having players who are all wanting to play.
“I’m happy with how Craig did and have obviously been very pleased with Ali.
“I think the blend in the team is good with experience and youth. The older ones have an important role in the team.”