St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has branded his side’s start to the cinch Premiership campaign “tough but encouraging”.
Davidson has lost James Brown and Lars Dendoncker to injury for Saturday’s trip to face Dundee United and the fitness of several other players is causing concern, and the Saints boss still feels their European exertions are having an impact.
Saints sit 10th with 10 points following their first 11 games but a midweek draw with Hearts gave them some stability following two defeats.
The Perth side enjoyed memorable European clashes with Galatasaray and LASK which took their toll.
Reflecting on the first round of games, Davidson said: “It’s been tough, with the European fixtures added in. We are in the semi-final of a national trophy again, which is an unbelievable achievement.
“The European games mixed in with the league games made it very difficult and the resulting factor is we have had a lot of injuries since then. It’s been a knock-on effect.
“The best word to use is tough, but encouraging. There have been some young players coming through and getting better every week. We have got Cammy MacPherson, Murray Davidson and Craig Bryson back, Ali Crawford in the team. The other one I need to get in the team is Eetu Vertainen.
“The young centre-halves are progressing really well.
“So it’s all positive on that side. We would all say we would like a few more points on the board and we are going to try and start that on Saturday.”
To do that, Saints will have to get a result against a United side who are unbeaten in seven league games.
“We have got to go there and make it a really tough game for them,” Davidson said. “It’s been one of their best starts for a long time in the league.
“We want to climb the league. It’s very, very tight with the bottom seven or eight teams so we want to pick up as many points as we can.”