St Johnstone will come out fighting against Rangers after ‘atrocious’ performance

Steven MacLean.

Steven MacLean has admitted that St Johnstone were “atrocious” in Aberdeen.

And the veteran St Johnstone striker believes the Perth men will “come out fighting” against Rangers because of it.

The Perth men were comfortably beaten by the Dons last time out and it made for a long and frustrating international break at McDiarmid Park.

Friday night’s televised clash with Pedro Caixinha’s side offers the perfect opportunity for the perfect response.

“It is important we react to such a poor performance,” said MacLean.

“It wasn’t good enough. To be honest it was atrocious.

“This is a good game to do it in. I think you will definitely see a reaction.

“Anytime we have put in a poor performance we have come out fighting. I’m sure it will be no different on Friday.

“We have had to wait two weeks so we will primed and ready.

“I was stewing for a few days after the Aberdeen but we are over it now.

“It has still been a good start to the season. We are sitting joint third.”

Saints’ last league win against Rangers was back in 2010 but MacLean doesn’t believe that tells the whole story of their head to heads.

“Looking back at the recent games they have been close,” he said.

“They scored in the last minute to beat us 3-2 at Ibrox and then they won 2-1 here on the last day of the season.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so comfortable in a game against Rangers as I did that day.

“For the first 20 minutes we battered them but didn’t score when we were on top.

“Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve in football.

“Rangers will have a good bit of possession on Friday so it is important we don’t concede. They are a quality side with good players.”

He added: “The way they play both full-backs go high so they leave spaces.

“If our two full-backs went as high as that I’m sure our centre-backs wouldn’t be happy.

“Sometimes the centre-halves get the blame for conceding goals but the full-backs don’t help them by bombing forward.

“They need to defend as a team better. I think there are goals against them although they have been scoring a few.

“I scored one against them last year so hopefully there will be a few more on Friday.”