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St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson leaves the door open for Callum Hendry January return from Kilmarnock

Will Callum Hendry return from Kilmarnock to St Johnstone in January?
Will Callum Hendry return from Kilmarnock to St Johnstone in January?

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has left the door open for Callum Hendry to be recalled in January.

The on-loan striker has scored four goals for Kilmarnock and is getting regular first team football at Rugby Park.

He has made himself an integral part of former Saints boss Tommy Wright’s promotion push but Davidson hasn’t ruled out cutting short his stay in Ayrshire and giving Hendry another chance at McDiarmid Park before his contract runs out in the summer.

“I sent Callum out to get games and to play,” said the Perth boss. “He is doing that and enjoying it.

“When we get to January we’ll reassess where we are with everyone.

“We obviously want the best players here.

“It’s good to see Callum scoring goals for Kilmarnock.”

Eetu time

There are a lot of matches to be played before the turn of the year and Davidson expects Eetu Vertainen to feature prominently in them.

The Finnish international impressed in his substitute appearance at Hampden Park last weekend and, with injuries and a suspension limiting Saints’ attacking options, could start against Hibs on Saturday.

“Eetu has been excellent in training this week too,” said Davidson.

“With Chris Kane suspended, it might be a chance for Eetu to showcase what he can do.

“He knows there are opportunities for him to play and he is working extremely hard.

“He has all the attributes and a lot of things going for him that are really good.

“Now is near the time where I’ll be giving him more game-time.

“We definitely need more goals up front and that is why I brought him in.”

Meanwhile, talks are progressing with Ali Crawford about extending his St Johnstone stay beyond next month.

“There are two or three ongoing just now and in the middle of negotiations,” said Davidson.

“Hopefully we can get something tied up pretty soon for Ali. We obviously want him to stay.

“With David (Wotherspoon) being out, he becomes even more of a key player. It’s up to Ali to go and perform.

“I think he has done really well.

“Now he needs to do it at a consistent level, score goals and create.”

Cammy MacPherson was cup-tied last Saturday but may well have missed the Celtic match anyway.

“Cammy was struggling with injury,” Davidson explained. “He trained on Wednesday.”

Back on it

Davidson, who travelled to Dingwall to watch Hibs lose to Ross County, has seen the right signs on the training pitch as this weekend’s fixture has got closer

“There were a few tired legs on Monday and Tuesday,” he said.

“The data for Saturday’s game was as high as it has been all season.

“Training has been really good since.

“I’m delighted because I know they’re back on it and ready to fight for three points on Saturday.

“All our games against Hibs are tight and close. We want to be better than we were against St Mirren and be a bit better in the final third than we were against Celtic.

“If we do that and work off a good shape, we’ll start scoring a few more goals.”

St Johnstone signing target Dundalk defender Daniel Cleary reminds me of Jason Kerr, says Graham Cummins

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