Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Graham Gartland: I expected Dan Cleary to do well for St Johnstone and John Mahon will be a ‘warrior’ for them

Dan Cleary has impressed since signing for St Johnstone.
Dan Cleary has impressed since signing for St Johnstone.

St Johnstone’s double defensive transfer raid to Ireland was excellent business, according to Graham Gartland.

The former Saints centre-back isn’t surprised Dan Cleary has turned out to be one of the rocks his old club’s second half of the season revival has been built upon.

And he shares Callum Davidson’s confidence that John Mahon will prove to be a big long-term McDiarmid Park asset as well.

Gartland believes timing and extra experience helped Liverpool academy product, Cleary make an instant impact in the Saints first team on his arrival from Dundalk.

Ex-Sligo Rovers defender, Mahon is still waiting for his first Premiership start but he too will go on to prove his worth.

“I expected Dan to do well,” said Gartland.

“I know Shamrock Rovers wanted to sign him and St Johnstone did a good job in getting him.

“Jason Kerr was obviously a big loss for the team. He would have been a very hard man to replace.

Dan Cleary in action against Hearts.
Dan Cleary in action against Hearts.

“Maybe Dan will have an eye on another crack at England but football is all about performing where you are.

“You can’t take your focus off that, which I’m sure he won’t.

“Every game in the Scottish Premiership is tough – I know that. It catches you out if you’re not at your best.

“You get set different types of task, football-wise and mentally.”

Heart on his sleeve centre-back

On Mahon and what Saints fans can expect from him when he gets his top team chance, Gartland observed: “I watched him in a game last year for Sligo against Shamrock Rovers and he did really well that day.

“He’s a powerful centre-back who likes to throw himself in the way of balls and will be really aggressive when the ball is in the air or in and around him.

“Anything that’s in a 10-yard radius he wants to get to.

“He’s a heart on his sleeve centre-back but I wouldn’t want to say ‘old-fashioned’ because he can play a bit.

“That type of warrior defender, who will play through an injury for you, will do well in Scotland.

“Other than the Old Firm games, most of the matches are about being good in both boxes and John is.

“There’s a lot more improvement in John.”

John Mahon will get his chance.
John Mahon will get his chance.

Gartland, who has stepped back from full-time football following the end of his time as assistant manager to Neil McCann at Dundee, added: “I know he was full-time with Sligo but he’ll be learning a lot in Scotland, even just in training.

“I’m sure he’ll come good in the long-term. Those are two very good signings.

“John’s sitting on all that power and had real potential to develop.

“There will be times when he’s unbelievable and there will be times when he’ll maybe come across as a bit rash. That’s how he’ll develop as he gets older.

“You have to play to learn.

“It’s been a short season from the end of January for him. He’ll come back in the summer and be ready to make next season a big one.”

EXCLUSIVE: Graham Gartland on his St Johnstone ‘car crew’ legends and THAT Neil McCann and Tommy Wright Dens Park bust-up

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]