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Callum Davidson reveals traits St Johnstone MUST display to get play-off job done in Inverness

Callum Davidson.
Callum Davidson.

Soaking up setbacks has been par for the course for St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson in a season that has been a stressful one pretty much from start to finish.

And, with a couple of fresh injury issues arising in the McDiarmid Park camp ahead of Friday night’s Premiership play-off final first leg in Inverness, it will be a running theme to the very end.

“Training has been good but I still have doubts over one or two,” Davidson reported. “But I am not going to tell you who they are.

“You’ve got niggles, you’ve got injuries and you’re hoping they’ll be back and you get dealt little blows here and there.

“It’s about how you deal with that as a group.

“We’ve been dealt one or two blows this week that we couldn’t really do anything about.

“Everybody else then has to say: ‘Well, I’m going to step up to the mark and I’m going to make sure that we stay in this league’.”

Set the tone

The winner won’t be decided until Monday night in Perth but Davidson wants to see his team set the tone for the contest in the Highlands.

“It will be quick turnaround,” he said. “A big ask.

“We are going to need the whole squad to get us through this.

“We have a positive mindset.

“We’ve done all our work and it is just about playing with a little bit of courage in these games, being confident in ourselves and knowing it is a game of football where we need to go and perform at our maximum level.

“You need to separate yourself from the emotion and tension.

“It’s a game of football and you’ve got to be calm and make good decisions.

“If you go in there with a frenzied mind, it’s really difficult to do it.

“We just need to calm everything down, make sure we apply ourselves properly and do the right things.

“Hopefully from that we can get the right result.”

On the up

As a rule in these play-offs the Championship team is feeling better about itself than the side that finished second bottom in the top flight.

Davidson hasn’t found it hard to view the play-offs as an opportunity, though.

“If we had got dragged into it, it would be a negative – a downer,” he pointed out.

“But I think we’ve been on the up.

“We couldn’t catch the teams above us – we left too big a gap.

“But we managed to go from 12th to 11th and have given ourselves a chance of staying in the league.

“That’s all we’ve done so far.

“We need to try and finish off the job and make sure we get good results against a very good Inverness team.

“It’s going to be really difficult but I can tell by the attitude of everybody around the place that we’re desperate to stay in the league.

“We’ll go in with calm minds on Friday to try get the result that we want.”

St Johnstone analysis: 4 key categories that will determine Perth side’s play-off fate v Inverness

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