Callum Davidson admits he will be sad to see Danny McNamara go – but the St Johnstone boss is confident he can line up a January replacement for the departing Millwall man.
The 21-year-old has been recalled by Lions boss Gary Rowett after impressing during his six-month loan stint in Perth.
It has been reported that Rowett would look to soften the blow by sending James Brown north, with the former Livingston defender set to take over from McNamara on January 3.
But Davidson admits a deal has yet to be finalised.
McNamara, however, will still be available for Saints as they face Aberdeen on Boxing Day, host Hamilton on December 30 and then kick off 2021 away to Ross County on January 2.
Davidson said: “Danny has had a good season here so Millwall want to take him back and give him an opportunity to play there.
“The reason he came up here was to progress his career and he has performed at a high level.
“It’s always a danger with loans because they have clauses that mean you can go back if it’s not working out or your club wants you back for doing well.
“Danny came in and played very well, so it shows that young players can come here to develop.
“Losing him in January is a bit of a blow for us but we have one or two things in the pipeline.
“Hopefully we can get someone in the door who is just as good as Danny. Nothing has happened yet (with Brown) but hopefully we’ll get something sorted.”
Saints find themselves perched just above the relegation zone after Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Rangers made it six Premiership fixtures without a win.
Only goal difference is keeping Davidson’s team out of the bottom two and the St Johnstone manager admits his team must find a way to make themselves harder to beat after going nine straight games without a clean sheet.
“The games are coming thick and fast so we need to dust ourselves down,” he said. “We have to move on quickly because we have three massive games coming up.
“I was pleased with how they didn’t stop fighting against Rangers and we’ll need that in the next three games. We are going to need to fight and scrap for points.
“The big thing we have to do is make it much more difficult for teams to score against us.
“The disappointing thing for me in the last few games is that we have allowed teams to score goals without doing much.
“We need to make the opposition work much harder to score, which takes discipline and concentration.
“So that’s what we need to see more of in the games we have coming up.”
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