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It’s not just cup glory that gives Callum Davidson St Johnstone job satisfaction as he plots Rangers upset

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson.
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson.

Callum Davidson knew football management wouldn’t just consist of Hampden glory and big European nights.

Trying to turn around a struggling team’s fortunes was always likely to be part of the St Johnstone deal as well.

That the first bit was thoroughly enjoyable goes without saying.

But taking a side off the foot of the Premiership table is also a task the Perth boss is relishing.

“I’ve always said it’s harder mentally to be fighting at the bottom than it is when you’re going for trophies,” said Davidson.

“You’re always challenging yourself and that’s why I became a manager really – to challenge myself and put myself in pressure situations.

“I do enjoy it sometimes, other times not – especially when you don’t get big refereeing decisions go your way like at the weekend.

“That’s out with my control.

“I look at my group of players just now and see that they’re really up for the fight.

“I’ll take that every week.”

Good run against Rangers

Saints’ last trip to Ibrox was the most celebrated in the Perth club’s history.

But the clashes with Rangers either side of that dramatic Scottish Cup quarter-final triumph also give Davidson belief that his team can give the league leaders a run for their money.

“We drew with Rangers at home on the Wednesday before that Scottish Cup tie,” he said.

“And we took the lead when we played Rangers at home this season.

“We have had opportunities in every game this year.

“It’s about someone making something happen, in that last third, that will help us win.

“Apart from Livingston and Celtic, who scored a last minute penalty, we have only ever been beaten by one goal this season.

“The games have been tight. We haven’t been out of any of them and we need to do that at Ibrox.

“We need to stay in the game for as long as possible and make it really difficult for Rangers.

“That’s how you get results against them as if you go gung-ho, they are tremendous on the counter attack which they showed at Hearts.

“It’s something we have to avoid. We need to keep the game as tight as possible.”

Stevie May returns to the squad, and will be joined by new signing Jacob Butterfield, but Glenn Middleton drops out.

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson ready to ‘throw him in’ as Jacob Butterfield is set for debut against Rangers

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