Steven MacLean has thanked the St Johnstone supporters for their “great” banner tribute to double-winning manager Callum Davidson.
And he has pledged that the non-stop running the Perth players gave the fans in the weekend draw with Hibs will be the foundation upon which post-split Premiership success will be built.
Fair City Unity organised two banner displays on Saturday – one in memory of young Perth man, Cameron Rae, who was found dead a couple of weeks ago and the other to thank Davidson, who brought two trophies to McDiarmid Park.
— FAIR CITY UNITY (@faircityunity) April 22, 2023
“I thought the banner for Callum at the Hibs game was great and I know he will have appreciated that,” said interim boss, MacLean.
“He was appreciated by everyone at the club and I think Cal’s statement just showed the class of him.
“It was very good of the supporters to do that and it just sums St Johnstone up.”
The atmosphere inside McDiarmid Park was as good as MacLean had hoped it would be.
And, with the SPFL giving Saints three home games in May, MacLean believes the fan factor will be an important one.
“The fans were excellent,” he said. “They were right behind us.
“Our performance helped but we have to give them something next time (against Dundee United) as well.
“It’s all very well saying ‘we hope the fans turn up’ and all that, but you’ve got to make them want to turn up.
“You have to make them want to get behind you. That comes from energy levels and seeing everyone giving maximum effort.
“So we need the fans behind us in the next five games but we know we owe it to them as well to give them something to sing about and cheer.
“I love match-days.
“The training during the week was good, we did a lot of good work and to get a good performance on a Saturday is what it’s all about.
“As a player I was all about training all week to get that buzz on match-days.”
Plenty of positives
MacLean believes a ‘non-negotiable’ standard has been set.
“Having watched the Hibs game back, it was a good performance and there’s plenty to be positive about,” he said.
“The players did what we asked them to do and took on board what we’d been working on.
“That’s just a start though.
“We have to keep that going and build on it over the next five games.
“I’m telling the players that if they keep producing good performances the results will come.
“It’s all about focusing on what we can control, working hard and if we do that we’ll pick up points.
“I’ll be hammering it home to them every day because there’s no point having a decent performance and then letting it slip away in the next game.
“The fundamental in football is hard work.
“The non-negotiable for me is running as much and as hard as you can. Do your job and take responsibility.
“For me that has to be a given and the players have to demand that from each other too.
“They have to get the best out of each other and tell each other that’s what they need.
“The more you do that, day in day out, the easier it becomes because it’s natural for you in the end.”