St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has dismissed the notion that he is wedded to one formation.
The Perth boss believes a set-up with three central defenders is the best bet for the players in his squad at present.
But he hasn’t ruled out switching to a back four at some stage of Saints’ battle to stay in the Premiership.
“I do know the answer why we’ve struggled and I’m trying to rectify it just now,” said Davidson.
“For me, I don’t have a preferred system.
“I prefer the system depending on what suits the players which is why we have a three at the moment.
“I always pick a team with the players in mind.”
Davidson, who has started with a four in the past as Saints boss and also switched to it mid-game, added: “I think the three, and whatever you play in front, can be quite flexible.
“I like that flexibility.
“It’s not to say I won’t try the four again.
“I think results will come with consistency of team selection and consistency of performances and I believe the group of players I have here will do that.”
Beating Kelty Hearts in last season’s Betfred Cup proved to be a significant moment in the double-winning 2020/21 campaign and Davidson is hoping for another morale-boosting victory in Fife on Saturday.
“The cup competitions helped us massively last season,” he said.
“The games came regularly and it’s always good to have a break from the league.
“They were probably the catalyst for our success last season. Hopefully we can mirror that but we need a result on Saturday.”
Ciftci a ‘huge player’
Davidson was delighted that new striker Nadir Ciftci got 80 minutes of football into his legs at Tynecastle in midweek – and with the quality of the former Dundee United man’s display.
“I was basically putting him in without knowing how long he would last,” he said. “I thought he did really well.
That’s a scary looking gap forming at the bottom of the table.
Serious problems with only 12 days left to address them. The way things are now, we go down.
However, Çiftçi will score goals. He could be the lifeline
— SJFCFANS (@SJFCFANS) January 18, 2022
“You saw signs of his link play and his football intelligence. And he got chances.
“He’s going to be a huge player for us and the more games I can get him the better he’ll be.
“We’ll be trying to find the right combination for him up front.”