St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson understands fan unhappiness over ticketing for the cup tie against Rangers but hopes they will turn out in their numbers to back his side.
The club is on course for a record low crowd as supporters show their discontent over the decision to give Rangers three out of four stands at McDiarmid Park on Saturday, and charge £30 per ticket for the Scottish Cup game.
St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has made a statement saying he understands their anger and frustration and will learn from it, and Davidson said that Brown was “flat” after the furore.
“I sat down with the chairman on Monday for a couple of hours, talking to him about the football side,” Davidson said. “We had a chat about off the pitch things as well and I think he is flat about the whole thing.
“It’s something he didn’t want to do – to create this level of anger and frustration – and so he is pretty flat about it.
“I understand the supporters. I played at McDiarmid Park, I have been assistant manager and manager and the backing they gave us, especially last season, was fantastic.
“We don’t want to create a divide. In hindsight yes, maybe could have done things differently but for me the biggest thing now, I know people are saying boycotting the game, but for me as a manager I want the supporters behind us.
“If you are swithering about coming, I would love you to come and support the team.”
The Saints boss, who led the team to a double cup victory two years ago and then through a successful fight against relegation last season, is well aware that the relationship with the support is a two-way street and said that he wants backing to help the players deliver a result everyone can be proud of.
“It is a huge game for us for in the season,” he said. “I’ve got great memories in the cup and if I go back to last season, they really got behind the team. It shows what happens when they get behind us.
“It’s time we gave them something as well and we’ll be going all out to try and get a victory in a really tough game.
“I do understand where the supporters are coming from. Can we stick together now and try to get something out of the game.”
Asked for his opinion on Brown’s decision on seating and ticketing, Davidson didn’t endorse the plan but said that it had come from someone who wanted the best for St Johnstone.
“Everybody learns,” he said. “There’s things we do and we think they’re for the right reasons.
“Everybody does things in their life that they think is for the right reason but is wrong.
“I just want us to get a victory this season and I want the supporters behind us as they always are through the good and the bad.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country