St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson “needs more” from Charlie Gilmour in pre-season.
The former Arsenal and Norwich City midfielder’s talent is beyond question, according to Davidson, with Barry Ferguson also hugely impressed by what he saw when he had the 23-year-old on loan at Alloa Athletic for half a season.
But Gilmour didn’t make an impact at McDiarmid Park when he was recalled in January.
And Davidson has challenged him to raise the bar.
“We need him to be pushing for his place this year,” said the Perth boss.
“He’s got talent and ability but he needs to push himself more.
“That’s what we expected from him when he came back from his loan at Alloa but he wasn’t up to speed as much as we wanted.
“I need more from him in training and more from him when he plays games.
“There is so much more to come from him so this summer is going to be huge because we want to see him put it all together and be the player we think he can be.”
Max Kucheriavyi desperate to take his chance
Gilmour isn’t the only promising midfielder for whom opportunity will knock in the next couple of months.
“We have some good young players like Max Kucheriavyi, Charlie and Alex Ferguson around the squad and it will be a big summer for them,” Davidson added.
🏆 The goal that clinched the title…
— SPFL (@spfl) March 28, 2022
“Everyone knows what Max did at Kelty Hearts and Brechin last season and the praise he got from their managers.
“So he will be back with us desperate to show he can step it up a level or two and make an impact.
“He’s a player we’re excited about so he’ll get his chance in pre-season and hopefully he will be able to take it.
“We want to be playing young players, we want to help the three of them – and the other ones – break into the team.
“As always, it’s up to them – they all have to prove they’re ready for it.”
Meanwhile, Davidson is delighted Saints have invested £100,000 in McDiarmid pitch improvements.
“It’s great the club are putting a bit of money into the pitch because last season it was very difficult to play on,” he said.
“It was tricky to play good football on it because it was so bumpy but by the time we start again it will be in a far better condition and that should help us.
“We have also had a lot of work done on the training pitches too so that will help the lads as well.”