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Callum Davidson: ‘It’s all about Friday’, says St Johnstone boss who gives optimistic injury update

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

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has moved on swiftly from his team’s 4-0 defeat to Hibs and declared: “It’s all about Friday”.

Making sure as many of his first team regulars are available for the all or nothing play-offs against Inverness Caledonian Thistle was the Perth boss’s Easter Road priority.

Davidson got his wish in that regard and also revealed he’s expecting the majority of the players left out of his Sunday starting line-up to be fit for the first leg in the Highlands.

“It was really important we managed the game and no one got sent off or injured,” he said.

“We started the first 25 or 30 minutes well and then you could see some of the boys hadn’t played in a while.

“They maybe weren’t as sharp and we dropped way off it.

Hibernian's James Scott makes it 4-0.
Hibernian’s James Scott makes it 4-0.

“The second half wasn’t acceptable but we are ready for Friday night now.

“Guys who needed games have minutes in their legs.

“We will have a few boys back from injury for the Inverness game so we will have a bigger squad available.

“One or two might struggle but the majority will be there so we will assess them this week.”

Davidson added: “We didn’t want to take risks. James Brown was on the bench and Callum Hendry had a tight hamstring so they didn’t play.

“It was a game we wanted to play well and do well but if we beat Hibs and lost to Inverness as we lost three players due to injury or suspension people wouldn’t be happy.

“We wanted to put in a better performance than we did in the second half.

“It’s a reminder to some of them how hard they have to work if they want to make the team.”

Inverness spirit

Davidson has a good idea of what his side can expect in their next – and season-defining – two matches.

“It will be a tough,” he said.

“Inverness showed a great spirit against Arbroath and it was an old-fashioned game.

“They dug in and worked hard as a team and they have good players.

“They like to play football and hopefully both parks will be good to play on.

“We have a positive mindset and we washed away the Hibs game already and we are looking forward to Friday.

“Celtic last season and this game, you have to forget it and move on.

“We wanted the scoreline to be better and the goals we lost were poor but it’s all about Friday.

“We have 180 minutes to stay in the league and that’s what we want to do.”

Callum Davidson on the Easter Road touchline.
Callum Davidson on the Easter Road touchline.

Davidson isn’t trying to diminish the significance of the play-offs. The exact opposite, in fact.

“This game is more important than the cup finals last season,” he said.

“It’s important to the club, the players and everyone involved.

“It’s the different pressures of football. It’s great pressure trying to win cups and leagues.

“But where you are where we are then it’s the pressure of trying to stay in the league.

“From where we are in January to now we have the chance to do that.

“We have dealt with that pressure since January and we have to again.”

Hibs 4-0 St Johnstone: Saints lose dead rubber but the stakes are about to get higher

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