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Davidson admits Saints’ Covid crisis has been his toughest time

The St Johnstone manager says his cup final selection is still up in the air.

Davidson admits Saints’ Covid crisis has been his toughest time SNS Group

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has admitted that working through the club’s current Covid problems has been the toughest time of his career and not just his time in management.

The Perth club saw two players test positive for the virus in early May and two more players went into self-isolation as a result. Subsequently, a further four first team players missed the midweek Premiership match against Celtic, in addition the injured Scott Tanser.

Though Davidson will see some players return for the final game of the Premiership season against Livingston, he says the club aren’t out of the woods yet and admits it’s been a testing period for someone in his first season as a manager.

“I did actually text Jim Fleeting to say ‘Why did you not teach me this on the Pro License course?’,” he joked.

“I’ve had a light-hearted laugh about it but it has been the toughest time of my career, dealing with situations like this.

“It’s not just about yourself, it’s about a whole group of people. And then it has a knock-on effect for people’s families. So it’s a big thing and very difficult to deal with and we’re just trying our best.

“As a player, it was pretty easy because you just think about yourself. As a manager you’re thinking about others and it’s the health side I’m thinking about more than anyone else, rather than the playing side.”

Davidson said that the latest round of testing at the club had returned all negative results and that the club was being “very, very strict” on the guidelines and restrictions designed to prevent the virus spreading. Even so, he will have to wait to know what players he has available before he can settle on a team fort the Scottish Cup final on May 22.

“I probably won’t get my full squad back until the middle or the end of next week,” he said.

“It’s a real difficult one, because if you asked me two weeks ago if I had my team in my head for the final, I would have probably said yes. Ask me now, it’s totally different.

“I will need to assess all the players and how they come through it, how they train, how they are looking.

“It will be a tough one next week but we will have enough time to plan. I just hope everyone tests negative on Monday and then we can look forward to the game.”

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