St Johnstone interim manager, Steven MacLean, is hoping Friday’s bounce game against Hearts will give him food for thought ahead of the Perth side’s Premiership clash with Dundee United.
The new head coach has decided to fill Saints’ free weekend by accepting Steven Naismith’s offer of a closed-doors match in Edinburgh.
And he has challenged his players to make their mark.
“Naisy texted me to see if we fancied it and it was a no-brainer for both of us,” said MacLean. “Especially as we won’t be playing each other again.
“Sometimes when you have these breaks it’s good to get players back and get a rest into people.
“But I think we could do with a game to keep working on things and also give people the chance to show what they can do.
“There were players who didn’t get game time last weekend but this will be an opportunity to stake a claim.
“I told them last week that it’s a clean slate for everyone. I know I’ve been here already but it’s up to all the players what they do from now.
“I told them they can play their way into the team by the way they train and people will be able to play their way into my thoughts on Friday too.
“It’s a chance to work on different combinations and different ideas, so I’ll be challenging them to show how much they want to be involved.
“You never know, someone might step right up and give me something to think about.”