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St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson has won cups and faced Galatasaray but St Mirren clash is in ‘biggest game’ category

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

He’s made five trips to Hampden as St Johnstone manager, lifted two trophies and gone toe to toe with star-studded Galatasaray in Europe.

But Callum Davidson has no qualms about putting Saturday’s 11th v 10th Premiership clash against St Mirren in the “biggest game” category.

A second half of the season McDiarmid Park revival, combined with a recent Paisley collapse has given the Perth club the chance to close within just two points of their weekend opponents.

And winning the battle of the Saints would make escaping the play-offs a realistic prospect with just three games left of the league season.

“The cup finals were obviously special occasions and huge for St Johnstone,” said Davidson.

“They’re on a different scale, with a different type of pressure.

“In a different way you could describe this as the biggest game for the club in a long time.”

From 13 to five

St Mirren still have a significant points cushion and, as such, a draw would suit Stephen Robinson’s men far more than Davidson’s.

But the home team will be the one going into the match with greater form and faith.

“There is a positive mindset in the dressing room,” said Davidson.

“We were 13 points behind St Mirren not that long ago. Now it’s five.

“I’ve made a point of showing the players the form guide over the last few months.

“They know the progress they’ve made.

“They also know the togetherness we’ve got in this group.

“This is the first time all season I’ve been able to get continuity of selection.

“It’s great going into a game not thinking about having to make four or five changes. It’s one or two tweaks.

“Confidence has grown and we’ve just got to keep clawing away at the gap on the teams above us and make sure we stay away from Dundee.”

Better mentality

Saints’ last opportunity to close within two points of a team ahead of them was in February, when a second half slump after Callum Hendry’s opener saw them lose 3-1 to Ross County.

“There’s a different mentality now,” said Davidson.

“The players are in a different place.

“It’s really important that we use everything that we’ve done to get to this point and put in a big performance.”

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